has made it a priority to develop and implement a variety of programs
aimed to educate our youth. These programs focus on goals and objectives relating to being
a good citizen and respecting others, as well as drug resistance
education. As we continue to grow with our children from youngsters to
young adults, we cannot stop worrying about them as they venture into
the driving age.
Most young adults at the age of 16 take
advantage of the privilege of obtaining a drivers license, with little
or no formal training, before driving upon our streets, which contain
many changing terrains and environments. Unfortunately, Teen Traffic
Safety Statistics show:
Automobile crashes are the leading
cause of death and injury to teens in the United States and Florida.
Injury producing crashes involving
teens cost taxpayers over $32.8 billion dollars in 2000.
Between 25 - 30% of teen drivers
will be involved in a crash within the first 12 months of getting
their operators license.
These are just a few of the concerns
Sheriff Nienhuis has and shares with other parents who have children
ready to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. In an effort to
prevent any further injuries or the senseless death of a loved one,
Sheriff Nienhuis has pledged to continue to grow up with our youth by
implementing this very educational and worthy course of instruction.
The Teen Driver Challenge is a
defensive driving and vehicle control program designed for teenage
drivers. The two-day program is designed to provide young drivers with
the knowledge and understanding of vehicle dynamics and human kinetics’,
the forces created by an automobile and the effects of the forces on the
The objective of the
program is to enhance the young driver's awareness of the complex task
of operating a motor vehicle and to create and practice skills that will
prepare them to anticipate and handle hazards that occur daily in normal
driving conditions. This program has been created by law enforcement
professionals. The curriculums were created around the fact that most
crashes involving teenage drivers are classified as "avoidable" and due
to lack of experience or training, teens are not prepared to make the
vehicle respond appropriately.
The education segment (defensive driving)
is designed to give the student a better understanding of the
responsibilities and liabilities of the driver, vehicle dynamics,
friction and the effects of intoxicating substances on their ability to
operate the vehicle. A traffic model is created at the beginning of the
program and segments build on each other to a final conclusion; 35 mph
is fast. This portion of the program gives the students a better
understanding of why the vehicle responds the way it does and prepares
them for the exercises on the driving range. The basic principles of
safe, defensive driving are emphasized throughout this program.
Skills and Techniques
The purpose and the
structure of this program is to give young drivers a strong foundation
from which they can continue to develop and improve their driving skills
to a consistently high level while maintaining safe driving habits. Due
to lack of experience, most teens have little or no idea of how the
vehicle responds in a given situation or how to regain control of the
car once it is out of control.
Eight basic skills,
actions and/or techniques of driving are identified as areas that teens
need experience or training to safely operate a motor vehicle. Steering,
acceleration, deceleration, backing and off road recovery are some of
the tasks addressed in this program. Training exercises used in this
program have been adopted from the law enforcement-training manual that
is approved by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.
Student drivers must complete the following exercises:
All classes are
conducted under the direct supervision of certified high liability
driving instructors. Instructors ride with each student and students
move to the next exercise only after the instructor feels the student
has demonstrated a reasonable degree of skill.
The Teen Driver
Challenge is an effective program at reaching teens, modifying their
attitudes and creating all around better teenage drivers.
So what can we do to help ensure that our kids live long enough to gain
the experience necessary to become a good driver? We provide a training
program that prepares them for emergency situations they may encounter
everyday on our roadways & highways. We believe that we can reduce the
chances of your child becoming a highway statistic through this
defensive vehicle control program.
back-to-back course is as follows:
On Friday night the
classroom instruction is held at the Sheriff’s Main Office in
Brooksville from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. On Saturday, the range
instruction is held at the Hernando County Airport from 8:00 a.m. to
5:00 p.m. Each student attending will receive instructions on where to
meet for the range.
Participants must possess a valid Florida operator's license (not a
It is imperative to
have all documentation filled out completely and notarized as
requested. This is a first come first serve program, so be sure to get
your forms in immediately.
For further information, please contact the Sheriff’s Community Services
Division at 754-6830 ext. 53660 for dates available to attend.
Click the links below to download forms required for participation.
FSA Parent Release-Student
Statement, FSA Students Statement form, and FSA Vehicle Owner Statement