OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Hope Shaffer Act, a House bill regarding student driving in Oklahoma, failed Monday in a Senate committee meeting.
Hope Shaffer was 15 years old when she was killed in a car accident in January 2020. Shaffer was in the back seat of a student driver vehicle when another driver rear ended the car, killing her.
“This bill is simply allowing for parents to make the determination of whether or not they would want their student, or their child, driving in the car or riding in the car, rather, with another student driver,” said Senator Jessica Garvin, R-District 43. “It also allows for the parents to sign a waiver for permission allowing for a student driver to have their child as a passenger in the vehicle.”
Senators in the committee had questions, including how House Bill 1616 would work in situations such as when the driving instructors were male and the singular student driver was female, in which the instructor would not feel comfortable unless another student or person was present.
Senator Garvin stated that the bill wouldn’t prevent those holding the student driver courses from charging extra fees to make accommodations.
“This bill does not prohibit any sort of business or the school district from charging additional fees to the student or their families for an additional rider in the vehicle. So if a school or if a business that provides the education would be required to have an additional rider, maybe an employee of the business or school, and for a witness, they would be able to charge additional fees to the family,” said Sen. Garvin.
Despite the clarification, HB1616 failed in the Senate Public Safety Committee meeting with a 5-5 vote.