Teen Driver Challenge date: TBA
HCSO is pleased to offer a safety program for teen drivers. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for those ages 15 to 20 across the nation. Safety on the roadways is a priority of the Sheriff's Office and we are committed to helping our youth get off to the best start behind the wheel.
The program is called the Teen Driver Challenge, which is supported by the Florida Sheriffs Association. The program is part classroom/part driving experience. Safety on the roads is everyone’s responsibility. The Teen Driver Challenge is one way teens and parents can build the foundation for years of safe driving.
The Teen Driver Challenge is a defensive driving and vehicle control program designed for teenage drivers. The 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 curriculum was 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:
1. Evasive Maneuvers
2. Threshold / Emergency Braking
5. Off Road Recovery
6. Forward Serpentine
7. Reverse Serpentine
8. Figure 8
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 and highways. We believe that we can reduce the chances of your child becoming a highway statistic through this defensive vehicle control program.
PLEASE NOTE: Each class is limited to 12 participants, with an additional 3-4 on stand-by. A valid Driver's License (No Restricted Licenses) and a vehicle are required.
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Walter C. Heinrich Practical Training Site
14603 County Road 39, Lithia
You must download the forms, some of which must be notarized. The program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Completed forms may be mailed to:
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Community Outreach Division
P.O. Box 3371
Tampa, FL 33601
For more information, contact the Sheriff’s Community Outreach Division at (813) 247-8115.
Please click the links below for release forms and applications. For further information please call the Sheriff’s Office or contact the School Resource Officer at your child’s high school.
Parental Permission Form And Release Of All Claims
Student Statement Of Voluntary Participation And Release Of All Claims
Vehicle Owner's Statement Of Permission And Release Of All Claims
Student Signup Information