Drivers throughout Tennessee, including local motorists, rejoiced when state lawmakers this year passed a ban on widely hated traffic cameras that generated automatic citations.
The downside for Chattanoogans is that money from those citations helped cover the cost of the city's driver education program.
The loss of that revenue means the cost of driver education this December and January will be four times as high as normal, according to a release from the Chattanooga Department of Transportation. Formerly $50, tuition will now be $200.
The city is enrolling students now for the winter driver's ed sessions.
Session I is Dec. 28-31 and Session II is every Saturday in January, starting on Jan. 9. Both sessions meet at the public library at 1001 Broad St.
The program is open to Chattanooga residents aged 15-22. It entails 30 hours of classwork and six hours behind a wheel. Families with low income or other circumstances can still qualify for the reduced rate of $50 for a session.
One factor is family income. A single person whose yearly income is less than $21,775 is eligible. For every additional person, the income threshold rises $7,696.
Other people may be eligible for reduced rates if they are homeless, runaway or migrant, households receiving benefits from WIC, TN SNAP or Families First, or children under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court.
Those wishing to enroll should go online to chattanooga.gov, print and fill out the application and mail it to the Driver's Education Program, 1250 Market St., Suite 3030, Chattanooga, 37403, along with a check or money order.