Greening While Driving


Teaching 16-year-olds the basics of driving is a tall order. But now politicians want to indoctrinate student drivers with a green catechism, too.

My Detroit News colleague Manny Lopez reports that Michigan’s legislature is considering a bill that would mandate an environmental curriculum for driver’s ed classes. In addition to parallel parking and road signs, Democratic Reps. Bert Johnson and Dan Scripps would force kids to learn about “the importance of carpooling and using public transportation,” “identifying the attributes of a fuel-efficient vehicle,” and “recycling vehicle parts and fluids,” among other scriptures from the green bible.

Scripps had his own religious conversion when gas prices hit $4 a gallon and is now determined to convert the unfaithful. “I drive a truck that gives me about 15 miles per gallon,” he says. “I was really regretting it when the gas prices were high.”

Already browbeaten by high school texts on recycling and global warming, kids can now look forward to proselytizing from that driver’s ed teacher in the right-hand seat. Paul Canjar of Academy Driving School Inc. in Lapeer, Mich. says “these kinds of things are completely relevant. It would be dumb not to watch out for better fuel economy when shopping around for a vehicle, especially when we’re thinking about saving the environment.”

What’s next — mandating that the kids take their driver’s license test in a hybrid?


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