School is back in session across Sarpy County, which means more inexperienced drivers are on high-use roads in their morning and afternoon commutes.
Some of these drivers are as young as 14.
Student drivers in Sarpy County do not have to wait until they are 15 to begin the process of being able to drive.
Starting at age 14, students can obtain a school learner’s permit. Students must pass a vision and written test and while holding the permit must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. A school learner’s permit is valid for three months and can be renewed. After two months of having the school learner’s permit, a student can obtain a school permit. The student needs to either go through driver’s education or provide documentation of 50 hours of lawful driving. They must pass a driving test.
According to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles, a student is eligible for a school permit if that student resides outside a city of 5,000 or more or attends a school outside a city of 5,000 or more.
For example, a 14-year-old student living in Springfield with a school permit can drive to a school in a larger city such as Papillion-La Vista South High School, or a student living in Papillion can drive to a school in a smaller city such as Platteview High School.
Sgt. Peggy Buchannan from the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office said those with a school permit must take the most direct route to and from their school.
According to Nebraska statutes, the student may also drive to property used by the school he or she attends for purposes of school events or functions, again using the most direct and accessible route by the nearest highway from his or her place of residence.
Sara O’Rourke, driver licensing services administrator for Nebraska DMV, said a student with a school permit can only drive family members who live with them and go to the same school.
Buchannan said if a student is found violating the terms of their school permit they will be written a citation and the citation taken into consideration by the DMV when the student is trying to obtain a license later down the line.