Save Our Teen Drivers

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

Free two day driving class in Pasco County Florida

Posted by lapearce on June 17, 2009

Florida is statistically not a good state to get your license in. Crash rates and fatality rates are high in the state comparatively, and if you are in the Tampa, St. Petersberg, Clearwater metropolitan area, like Trinity Florida is (or at least pretty close to it), you are in the most dangerous metro in the country for new drivers with over 41 fatal crashes for every 100,000 teens.

Pasco County Sheriff deputies know that there county is a dangerous one for new drivers. The county line, which ends north of Tampa, is the second most deadly county in Florida for new drivers. The Sheriff Department decided three years ago to try and turn those statistics around.

The two day program they offer, Teen Driver Challenge, is free to participants. The course features one day of in-class learning and a second day of in-car learning. The course is taught by sheriff deputies and they teach many of the things police officers teach to be safe on the road. Some area high schools require the first day of class to receive a parking permit on campus, but the second day is optional.

Katie Dabelstein and Chris Loguidice, students from Mitchell High School, came back the second day even though it wasn’t required. Both wanted to improve their driving skills and felt the program would do that. “It sounded pretty cool when they said it’s what the cops had to do,” Dabelstein said.

The program uses the teens own car, and teaches them handling, stopping, and avoidence skills that can mean the difference of life and death on the road. The program also teaches backing up, a cruital skill in a high school parking lot. The next program will be at River Ridge High School July 20-21. Register by calling Mary Hopkins at 813-929-1376.


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