Friday, October 17, 2014

Hillsborough County Tax Collector Highlights The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program during National Teen Driver Safety Week

For Immediate Release:
For additional information please contact Nancy Millan, Director of Community Relations at 813.612.6762

A ROADMAP FOR TEACHING TEENS HOW TO DRIVE  Hillsborough County Highlights The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program during National Teen Driver Safety Week  

TAMPA, FL – (October 17, 2014) One out of every five 16-year old licensed drivers will be in a motor vehicle crash.  The Hillsborough County Tax Collector is trying to change that statistic with a new tool designed to assist parents as they teach their teens to drive. 

The Parents Supervised Driving Program helps parents optimize the 50 hours of supervised driving required before those 17 and younger can obtain a driver license.  “With the challenges and distractions all drivers face on a daily basis, it is imperative that we, as parents, set an example for our young drivers,” said Doug Belden, Hillsborough County Tax Collector,  “ This program is designed to guide parents and essentially help teens become better drivers. “ 

This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, a time designated by Congress annually to raise awareness of teen driver safety topics and to encourage safe teen driver and passenger behavior. Hillsborough County is using this time to highlight The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, an important tool for parents in the process of assuring safe teen driving.
“Experience is the most important factor in teen crashes,” said Jeff Larason, President of Safe Roads Alliance, the publisher of the program. “The more time that parents spend driving with teens while they hold their Learner’s License, the less likely teens will be to crash once the begin to drive alone”

In addition to a guidebook, the program also offers a free mobile app called RoadReady® that allows teens to log their required practice driving hours and track GPS mapped drives.  The guidebooks are available county Tax Collector as well as DHSMV offices throughout the state where Learner License tests are administered.  The program is geared toward skill development and expanding the time and road conditions that teens drive with their parents prior to driving independently.  Guidebooks are available in both English and Spanish.

Florida law requires parents to certify that their teen has spent a minimum of 50 hours behind the wheel when he or she applies for an operator’s license and ten of those hours must be at night.  In addition to those requirements, Florida's Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) law has three stages: Teens must be at least 15 years old to apply for a Learner’s License and they must have completed a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Course. They must then pass a written test, a vision test, and a hearing test and they must submit a signed Parental Consent Form.  With a Learner's License, teens are allowed to drive only during daylight hours during the first three months and until 10 p.m. thereafter, and they must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old in the front passenger seat.

To earn an Intermediate License, teens must be at least 16 years old; they must have held a Learner’s License for at least one year without any traffic convictions and they must pass a driving test. Solo driving is allowed between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., or while traveling to or from work if between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. When the teen reaches age 17, solo driving is allowed between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m., or while traveling to and from work if between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. At age 18, all restrictions are removed from the license and the individual has full driving privileges.

The guidebooks were made available through a partnership with Ford Motor Company.  For more information on Florida’s Graduated Driving Licensing Laws and other helpful resources for parents, visit http://flhsmv.gov/teens/.
 
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