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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR Youngberg
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
1/31/2006
HJM
42
SHORT TITLE Study Use Of Simulator Driver Training
SB
ANALYST Moser
ESTIMATED ADDITIONAL OPERATING BUDGET IMPACT (dollars in thousands)
FY06
FY07
FY08 3 Year
Total Cost
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
Total
$20-50
Non-
Recurring State Road
Fund
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
Responses Received From
New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT)
SUMMARY
Synopsis of Bill
House Joint Memorial 42 asks the Department of Transportation, Traffic Safety Bureau to con-
duct a study on the potential benefits of increasing the use of driving simulators as a substitute
for on-the-road training and also that the department consider allowing time on simulator train-
ing to be counted equally to on-the-road training and does not include any appropriation.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
Depending on the depth of the study, the Department would have to pay approximately $20K to
$50K for an entity to conduct the study and develop a report for distribution.
SIGNIFICANT ISSUES
The Traffic Safety Bureau of the NMDOT has statutory authority to oversee the statewide driver
education program, which includes the current classroom and on-street curriculum utilized in all
teen driver training programs.
The NMDOT indicates that HJM 42 requests the department study the potential benefits of in-
creasing the use of simulator driver training for on-road driver training. This memorial requests
that the department considers allowing the time on simulator training to be counted equally to the
pg_0002
House Joint Memorial 42 Page 2
on-the-road training (1:1).
Currently the driver education rule adopted by the Traffic Safety Bureau (NMAC 18.20.3) al-
lows driving schools to utilize a driving simulator, approved by the Bureau, at a rate of two (2)
hours of instruction using a driving simulator equal to one (1) hour of on-street training (2:1).
The behind-the-wheel training requires at least four (4) of the seven (7) hours of instruction to be
actual on-street training
.
ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLICATIONS
NMDOT indicates that any change in the hours of instruction for on-street driving will require
the Bureau to amend the NMAC 18.20.3 Driving Education School rule. This would require the
appropriate notice, public hearing, and consultation with the Transportation Commission. This
process would take approximately 6 months to complete.
TECHNICAL ISSUES
NMDOT is concerned that National driver education standards do not recommend the use of a
driver education simulator in a ratio of one (1) hour of simulation instruction to be equal to one
(1) hour of on-street training (1:1).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Driver &
Training Safety Education Association (ADTSEA) have provided a report with minimum rec-
ommendations for driver education. The report states that if simulation instruction is used to re-
place a portion of the on-street instruction, a substitution ratio of four (4) hours of simulation in-
struction to one (1) hour of on-street instruction (4:1) should be used. Simulation instruction may
be used to replace a maximum of three (3) hours of on-street instruction.
WHAT WILL BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT ENACTING THIS BILL
The current requirements for use of a driver education simulator will remain the same
.
EM/yr