Administration of program — Powers and duties of school officials — Administration of knowledge and driving portions of driver licensing examination.
(1) The superintendent of public instruction is authorized to establish a section of traffic safety education, and through such section shall: Define a "realistic level of effort" required to provide an effective traffic safety education course, establish a level of driving competency required of each student to successfully complete the course, and ensure that an effective statewide program is implemented and sustained, administer, supervise, and develop the traffic safety education program and shall assist local school districts in the conduct of their traffic safety education programs. The superintendent shall adopt necessary rules and regulations governing the operation and scope of the traffic safety education program; and each school district shall submit a report to the superintendent on the condition of its traffic safety education program: PROVIDED, That the superintendent shall monitor the quality of the program and carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(2) The board of directors of any school district maintaining a secondary school which includes any of the grades 10 to 12, inclusive, may establish and maintain a traffic safety education course. If a school district elects to offer a traffic safety education course and has within its boundaries a private accredited secondary school which includes any of the grades 10 to 12, inclusive, at least one class in traffic safety education shall be given at times other than regular school hours if there is sufficient demand therefor.
(3) The board of directors of a school district, or combination of school districts, may contract with any drivers' school licensed under the provisions of chapter 46.82 RCW to teach the laboratory phase of the traffic safety education course. Instructors provided by any such contracting drivers' school must be properly qualified teachers of traffic safety education under the joint qualification requirements adopted by the superintendent of public instruction and the director of licensing.
(4) The superintendent shall establish a required minimum number of hours of continuing traffic safety education for traffic safety education instructors. The superintendent may phase in the requirement over not more than five years.
(5) School districts that offer a traffic safety education program under this chapter may administer the portions of the driver licensing examination that test the applicant's knowledge of traffic laws and ability to safely operate a motor vehicle as authorized under RCW 46.20.120(7). The superintendent shall work with the department of licensing, in consultation with school districts that offer a traffic safety education program, to develop standards and requirements for administering each portion of the driver licensing examination that are comparable to the standards and requirements for driver training schools under RCW 46.82.450.
(6) Before a school district may provide a portion of the driver licensing examination, the school district must, after consultation with the superintendent, enter into an agreement with the department of licensing that sets forth an accountability and audit process that takes into account the unique nature of school district facilities and school hours and, at a minimum, contains provisions that:
(a) Allow the department of licensing to conduct random examinations, inspections, and audits without prior notice;
(b) Allow the department of licensing to conduct on-site inspections at least annually;
(c) Allow the department of licensing to test, at least annually, a random sample of the drivers approved by the school district for licensure and to cancel any driver's license that may have been issued to any driver selected for testing who refuses to be tested; and
(d) Reserve to the department of licensing the right to take prompt and appropriate action against a school district that fails to comply with state or federal standards for a driver licensing examination or to comply with any terms of the agreement.
[2011 c 370 § 2; 2000 c 115 § 9; 1979 c 158 § 196; 1977 c 76 § 3; 1969 ex.s. c 218 § 2; 1963 c 39 § 3. Formerly RCW 28A.08.020, 46.81.020.]
| Intent -- 2011 c 370: "It is the intent of the legislature to utilize the infrastructure and resources of the commercial driver training schools and the school districts' traffic safety education programs by authorizing these entities to provide driver licensing examinations. The legislature intends for the department of licensing to authorize the administration of driver licensing examinations by these entities in order to maintain and reprioritize its staff for the purpose of reducing the wait times at its driver licensing offices.|
Further, the legislature recognizes the growing importance of the work performed by department of licensing driver licensing services employees, who play an increasingly vital role in our security by ensuring that applicants are properly issued identification." [2011 c 370 § 1.]
Inclusion of stakeholder groups in communications to facilitate transition of driver licensing examination administration -- 2011 c 370: See note following RCW 46.82.450.
Finding -- 2000 c 115: See note following RCW 46.20.075.
Effective date -- 2000 c 115 §§ 1-10: See note following RCW 46.20.075.
Severability -- 1977 c 76: See note following RCW 28A.220.010.