Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

Archive for February 15th, 2009

North Dakota aims to be 48th state with graduated drivers license program

Posted by lapearce on February 15, 2009

Ever state in the union except for North Dakota, Arkansas and Kansas have a graduated drivers license (GDL) program. GDL programs add restrictions to those within the first few years of driving that include: night driving, driving with friends, and driving with distractions. The program would also increase the permit time frame from six months to a year, and require 50 hours of supervised behind the wheel practice.

While far from perfect, GDL programs do a lot to decrease car crashes within the first years of driving. Studies show anywhere from a 20-50% decrease in crashes for new drivers under the GDL programs. The success of the programs is why so many states have adopted them.

More information on the attempts to add GDL to North Dakota can be found in this editorial in the Grand Folks Herald:


Posted in law | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

CHP Unvails New Start Smart Program

Posted by lapearce on February 15, 2009

The California Highway Patrol is adding to an ever-growing number of companies, agencies and foundations trying to curb the extrodinarily high number of fatal teen deaths. The CHP program, Start Smart, is an class for teens and their parents that discusses traffic collision avoidance techniques, collision causing factors, driver/parent responsibilities, and seatbelt usage.  They also use testimonials from police officers and parents, who have lost teens in crashes.

Classes are being formed all over the state, where hundreds of teens and their parents are educated all at once. The program relies heavily on scare tactics to convince teens not to do dangerous activities. They use good statistics, and some good advice, but it sounds to me like a live-action Red Asphalt with stories about gory fatal collisions.

The parents and teens in the classes are apparently quite moved by the technique. One student, Dylan Blankenbaker told The Ramona Sentinel “It really opened my eyes about what could happen to me if I didn’t take every precaution that I could while I’m driving.It really scared me, scared me to do the right thing, always put on my seatbelt and think of the people around me.”

Blankenbaker’s mother was also happy with this course, “I so highly recommend it…. I really wish we could get this here a couple times a year…It really makes you think before you get behind the wheel.”

The class highlights some good areas, such as space management, speed management, visual skills (looking far ahead), and wearing seatbelts. While far better than the current DMV education, I feel the program would be better if they had some behind the wheel practice to show the teens why these skills work.

Posted in driving school, program | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »