ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New drivers will soon be able to take their pre-licensing course online, for the first time ever.
The new law, which takes effect in June, was signed by Gov. Cuomo on Friday.
“The DMV is already offering online services, and this would only further complement those efforts,” said a spokesman for Senator Tim Kennedy’s office in a previous interview with NEWS10.
The bill was unanimously backed by members of the New York State Senate.
Currently, the five-hour program is required to be taken in person. The course covers the highway transportation system and issues related to being impaired while driving.
The law goes into effect until 2025, unless renewed by the governor and state lawmakers.
For people under the age of 18, the driving hours are still mandatory, said a spokesperson from the bill sponsor’s office.
“It benefits those who are applying for a drivers license, by making the process more convenient and accessible,” the spokesperson told NEWS10.
Members of the Coalition of New York Driving Schools fear the online licensing course is unsafe and will be ineffective.
“This is taking a giant gamble on public safety and will endanger lives — there are no facts or studies to say that these online courses are safe and effective,” said Stephen Walling of the White Plains-based Golden Crown Driving School. “This technology holds promise, but no technology is perfect and until we know all the facts, the lives of our children, drivers and pedestrians should come first.”