A Republican bill heard in the Senate would allow private driving schools to administer Class D driver tests, which raises significant safety concerns. Minnesota ranks as the fifth lowest state for teen driver deaths per 10,000 licenses for drivers age 19 or younger. None of the five states with the lowest crash fatalities per 100 million miles use third parties for Class D skill tests. The Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services has a public interest in maintaining safety on Minnesota’s public roadways and does not support this legislation.
Transferring authority to for-profit entities would create a conflict of interest for these schools by allowing them to pass drivers that may not be ready to drive on public roadways. Deferring public safety to private entities is not the solution we need to ensure driver’s license applicants receive timely and comprehensive road exams and that Minnesota drivers are adequately trained to maintain safety on our roadways. (SF 276)