FORT MYERS — The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) is pleased to announce that State Farm has generously granted $50,000 to the Teen Driver Challenge, an educational course that provides training to teenage drivers. This program has been a vital contribution in protecting Florida’s teen drivers and everyone else on the roadway. State Farm has granted a total of $910,000 to the program since 2011.
“We are so thankful for State Farm’s support that has been instrumental in keeping this program completely free for Florida’s teen drivers over the past 12 years,” said FSA President and Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis. “We look forward to maintaining this partnership to keep our roads safe and educate our youngest drivers about the dangers of speeding, driving under the influence and distracted driving.”
At the request of the Florida Sheriffs, the Teen Driver Challenge was created in 2007 to lower the high crash and fatality rate of young drivers. It’s the largest commercial driving school in Florida and is offered to teens at no charge. The cost to run this program is covered by grants from State Farm and contributions from local sheriffs’ offices. Instructors are certified law enforcement officers with accreditations from the State of Florida Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, under the Florida Sheriffs Association’s State of Florida Commercial Driving School License. The program is currently available in more than 42 counties (and coming to more soon).
“As a parent, I am extremely grateful for the Teem Driver Challenge. My daughter said it was very helpful, and she had a lot of fun,” said one Nassau County parent. “The officers involved did such a great job with the kids. I wish I could have thanked each of them personally for taking time out of their day to be there.”
The importance of the Teen Driver Challenge is supported by statistics. According to the Center for Disease Control, teens are involved in three times as many fatality crashes as other drivers. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of these fatal crashes. The Teen Driver Challenge aims to lower this rate by empowering teens with safe driving knowledge and practices. More than 2,000 students successfully complete the challenge in Florida each year.
“State Farm strongly supports efforts that increase teen driver safety in our communities,” said Jose Soto, State Farm Corporate Responsibility Analyst. “Each student who enrolls in the Teen Driver Challenge Program will learn and benefit from the special knowledge and skills of these trained, certified law enforcement instructors.”
For more information and help registering for the Teen Driver Challenge, visit www.flsheriffs.org.