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What to do during a traffic stop could soon be part of driver's ed

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

What's appropriate driver conduct when you're stopped by police? That could soon be required education for driver's ED students in Louisiana. 

Lawmakers are now considering a bill that, if passed, would require that question be answered before drivers get their license for the first time. 

"For instance, just keep your hands at three and nine o'clock, you know, having a copy of your driver's license, your insurance and registration clipped to your sun visor," said Sen. Ryan Gatti, R-Bossier City.  

The state senator behind the bill says it would help educate young drivers on what the police officer's expectations are during a traffic stop. 

"After the shootings last year and the shootings in Dallas, my friend Demetric Evans, who is a retired NFL player, called our office and he said, 'Senator Gatti, you know it really would be great if we could take some of the anxiety out of the traffic stop for the young driver and the police officer with some training,'" said Gatti. 

The owner of a New Orleans driving school says it's a good idea. He tells us his instructors already teach their students what to do when stopped by law enforcement. 

"The young people understand what we teach them but they see the older drivers doing the wrong thing. That kind of tells them to do the wrong thing too. What we do, we have the parents come in when we finish the class, and we tell the parents, 'If you're a bad driver, your child going to be a bad driver," said New Orleans Safe Driving School Owner Jewell Carney.  

But Marjorie Esman with the New Orleans ACLU has concerns. 

"Obviously anything that could lessen tension between the police and the public is a good thing, My concern is that if it focuses only on the driver's compliance with law enforcement and doesn't also include education to the driver about what their legal rights are, it could lead to people's rights being violated without their knowledge," said Esman. 

Gatti says the bill will also include training on driver's rights.

"There's no way to take all the anxiety out of driving but we can take the anxiety out of a traffic stop," said Gatti.

The bill passed the Senate Transportation Committee Thursday. It will now go to the full Senate. If it becomes law, the new driver's ED requirement would likely go into effect in January of next year. 

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