WETHERSFIELD - The Department of Motor Vehicles announced today it has endorsed for driving schools a revised and improved approach to the state’s unique two-hour parent-teen safe driving information class required for all 16 and 17 year-olds seeking a driver’s license.
Created by Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center, a new curriculum (http://1.usa.gov/1Ws0DwJ
) now gives a specific format, with step-by-step instructions on material to use. It also has suggested supplemental video and print resources and an activity guide. Topics range from managing the risks teen drivers face and underage drinking to car maintenance and insurance liability issues.
“The objective is to help parents and teens talk about safety because teens are our most inexperienced drivers. This is a significant contribution from Connecticut Children’s for driving schools around the state and I thank the injury prevention staff for its efforts,” said DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala, Jr.
Kevin Borrup, associate director of the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children’s, said, "This model curriculum is designed to make the best use of the two hours with a focus on motivating parents to take concrete steps to reduce their teens’ crash risks."
In 2008 when the required parent-teen session was first introduced, the DMV set standards so driving schools could design individual approaches. Connecticut Children’s in the last year studied the presentation of these sessions in driving schools across the state. It later proposed making a uniform curriculum to enhance the approach for delivering safety messages when both parents and teen were together in this session.
The new curriculum covers important safety tips on how to handle a teen’s first few hours of driving instruction, car maintenance, the dangers of drinking and driving, a teen’s inexperience behind the wheel, the risks of night driving and avoiding distractions while driving. The course also encourages parents to become more engaged in their teen’s learning during the permit stage and urges them to continue providing instruction even after their teen gets a license.
DMV advised the driving schools about the new curriculum and said, "The DMV supports all efforts to better engage parents in training and managing their teen driver, and the driver training schools of Connecticut are a key participant in these efforts. We encourage you to consider incorporating all or significant portions of the Injury Prevention Center curriculum in your two-hour parent-teen safe driving class."
Connecticut in 2008 was the first state in the nation to adopt the joint two-hour session as a requirement for a 16 or 17 year-old to obtain a driver’s license. Now similar kinds of sessions are offered in Massachusetts and West Virginia.