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
- 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
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 human body.
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.
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:
Off road recovery
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.
This 2-Day 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
Participants must possess a valid
Florida operator's license (not a learner's permit).
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
FSA Parent Release-Student
Statement, FSA Students Statement form, and FSA Vehicle Owner Statement and Release.