SALT LAKE CITY  — Would-be Utah motorists over age 19 would not have to take a professional driving course to get a state-issued driver's license under a measure approved Friday by a Senate legislative committee.

Sponsored by Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, HB266 would instead require adult motorists to have a learner's permit for three months and certify they've had 40 hours of drive time on the road, including some hours at night.

Daw said he brought forward the measure, which has already passed in the House, after learning from a constituent that the man's wife was required to enroll in private driving school despite being a competent driver.

After checking to see what other states require when it comes to adult drivers education, Daw said he learned that Utah is one of only a handful of states that has such a requirement. He said 40 other states do not.

A former state driver license examiner said it would be wrong to relax the requirements because too many prospective adult drivers already have poor skills when it comes to the road, leading to "white knuckles" among examiners.

Wade Campbell, who said he taught professional driving instruction to truck drivers, said the classes are especially helpful for foreign-born drivers

The measure passed unanimously out of the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities and Technology Committee and will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

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