Bristol Virginia Schools prepare for new law requiring schools to teach teen drivers how to interact with police

BRISTOL, VIRGINIA (WJHL) – A new bill is prompting changes to the drivers education curriculum in the state of Virginia. The bill was signed into law earlier this month by Governor Terry McAuliffe, it requires schools to teach teen drivers how to act and what do when pulled over by police.

Ashley Johnson is a Driver”s Education instructor with Bristol Virginia city schools. She has been involved with with Bristol Virginia Schools driver education program for quite a while now, this being her first year handling the program full time.

Her transition comes at the same time as the new law passed by the state of Virginia. Johnson supports the addition to the curriculum.

“It will be universally helpful for both our students and our law enforcement officials,” Ashley Johnson said.

While it may now be a formal law, the change isn’t necessarily new for the city of Bristol Virginia Schools Superintendent Keith Perrigan.

“We are still waiting for the state department to send down the new curriculum, however we just look for that to be a formal process now rather than something we were covering because we knew it was something our students needed to know,” Perrigan said.

Perrigan says they are looking at ways to strengthen their program. The new law will be focused on reducing confrontations with officers.

“We intend to work with local law enforcement to be part of that because you may get pulled over in Bristol and you should expect one thing but you could get pulled over in Richmond and it be completely something else,” Perrigan said.

For now, Johnson says she will keep telling her students to follow instructions that officers give them. That new law is expected to go into effect July 1st

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