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North Carolina driver's education law goes into effect in January

North Carolina driver’s education students will have more reading to do starting Monday. The new material is information about getting pulled over. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

North Carolina driver’s education students will have more reading to do starting Monday. The new material is information about getting pulled over.

By law, all driver’s education students will be given a handbook, including information on what to do if they see those blue lights.

Cindy Gaffney's daughter took driver’s education in fall 2017.

"They basically took her on the highway some, took her in the city," Gaffney said.

Gaffney said her daughter’s instructor may not have taught her the do's and don’ts of getting pulled over.

"I think that would be an excellent idea and something that, with everything you're trying to teach them, you don't necessarily think of," Gaffney said.

State legislators thought of it and created the law to help teach new motorists how to pull over, prepare to interact with law enforcement officers, and then how to interact with them.

Officers like North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Rico Stephens said he had just about seen it all.

“I've seen near collisions, where either the trooper or the motorist that they stopped have both been hit or almost struck," Stephens said.

He said those incidents happen a lot with newer drivers.

“People actually stopping in the lane of travel or not exiting the road or sometimes continuing to travel too far after the blue lights have come on," Stephens said.

But, he said, the handbook should help newer drivers.

"Hopefully, [it will] put them at ease and it'll help make our job a little safer," Stephens said.

Those were lessons Gaffney's daughter learned from experience.

"She actually has already had one accident,” Gaffney said. “So, she's already had an interaction with the police."

But, those were lessons Gaffney said she glad her daughter learned before getting her license.

"I was able to be there with her and talk her through it. But, I could imagine, if she was driving on her own and that happened to her, she would be pretty scared," Gaffney said.

The new law also called for at least six hours of anti-drinking and driving education.

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