New drivers are hitting the roads every day here in Nebraska, but those who teach them how might be getting left behind.
"A lot of us are getting to an age where we’re contemplating retirement," Jose Moran, a driver education instructor said.
Moran has been a driver’s education instructor with Nebraska’s chapter of the National Safety Council for 20 years and said other instructors his age and older have reached the end of the road. His biggest concern is the ability to meet demand.
"We’re not going to meet the demand as it is," he said. "You a lot of these kids are being postponed."
These concerns are also shared by the council's CEO Eric Koeppe.
"We are going to very quickly in the next few years be facing a shortage of instructors," he said.
According to Koeppe, not enough new driver’s ed instructors are coming in to replace the ones aging out.
To be a driver’s ed instructor in Nebraska, a certification is required, along with 24 hours of drive time with an already certified instructor. The drive time is currently only available in Lincoln. Koeppe said the current setup is a bigger challenge for those who live far away from the capital city.
"If you're in Chadron, and you have to become a driver’s education instructor or want to be a driver's education instructor, you’re going to have to go to Lincoln to do the drive time to do those 24 hours," Koeppe said.
He wants to see the training expand to other cities across the state, fueling the pipeline for more trainers to teach the next generation of drivers.
"The more driver’s education we can offer, the better off all the drivers on the roads are," he said.
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