CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A new state agency overseeing driver’s education plans to launch an investigation into the use of video warnings for the mandatory training of new drivers in California.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles, the state agency that oversees driver’s licenses and licenses for adults, said Thursday it would start an investigation, adding it would look into how the California Department for Motor Vehicles and the California Motor Vehicle Institute (CMV) are overseeing the training of drivers in the state.
The CMV declined to say how many drivers are being taught by video, and if it was using a similar system as other states.
“The department will take action against anyone found to be violating California’s laws regarding video warnings, which include using a video warning to control the driver’s reaction to an imminent collision, in violation of California law,” said state DMV spokesman David Lassan.
California’s video warning system is designed to give drivers a heads-up before a collision to let them know if they should move, stop or speed off to avoid a collision.
The system was put into place by the California DMV in 2017.
It was introduced as a pilot program that had been approved by the DMV before the state’s statewide pilot program was launched.
“We’re reviewing the pilot program and are evaluating it now,” said DMV spokeswoman Natalie Gough.
The department said it will ask the CMV for comment.
“The department does not have any authority to change California’s rules governing the use and enforcement of California’s driver’s license or driver’s safety laws,” she said.
The program’s use has grown as California’s population has increased.
The state says the system is working well and there is no evidence of safety concerns.
But some advocates say that safety has been compromised because the system does not warn drivers about the possibility of a collision and has not explained how to use the system safely.
The new program was rolled out in October.
It will be implemented in phases beginning next year.
The system will be available to new drivers and to existing drivers, as well as to anyone with a driver’s licence.
It is designed for two- or three-seat vehicles and includes training videos and a safety briefing.