Teenage drivers hit the road with little practical experience, often ill-prepared for situations they’re likely to encounter behind the wheel. That’s why a former Florida police officer created the Street Safe Teen Driving Program. The program includes classroom and hands-on components that allow participants to drive with an instructor. The course is patterned after the law enforcement Emergency Vehicle Operations Course and is intended to supplement standard driver’s education classes offered in schools.
The Street Safe program will use five demonstration cars enhanced with decals to make them look like NASCAR racers. The cars will display the names of sponsors, the program and its Web site. Instruction will cover the dangers of alcohol consumption and driving, following too closely, sudden lane changes, safely stopping a vehicle and adjusting driving speed to conditions. Teen participants will be able to experience what it feels like to lose control of a car and will get to operate golf carts wearing “fatal vision” goggles, which simulate the vision of a person who has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, the state standard for drunken driving.
Between 1995 and 2004, drivers between 15 and 17 years old were involved in 26,453 fatal crashes that killed 30,917 people nationwide, according to AAA.
Local law enforcement and judicial officials are vocal backers of the Street Safe program. Instructors will include police officers and firefighters. This program sure sounds great to a dad with three new drivers.