A program for teen drivers taught by PCSO driving instructors. Young drivers are taught the rules of the road and the consequences of driving distracted due to texting, music, passengers, substance abuse, and more. Email TeenDriverChallenge@pcsonet.com for more information or to register for a class. Be sure to include your phone number. The Teen Driver Challenge is supported by the Florida Sheriffs Association and is a defensive driving and vehicle control program designed for teenage drivers. The program is designed to provide young drivers with knowledge and understanding of vehicle dynamics and human kinetics, the forces created by an automobile, and the effects of those forces on the human body. The objective of the program is to enhance young drivers’ awareness of the complex task of operating a motor vehicle and to create and practice skills that will prepare them to anticipate and handle hazards that occur daily in normal driving conditions. This program was created by law enforcement professionals. The curricula were created based on the fact that most crashes involving teenage drivers are classified as “avoidable,” and that due to lack of experience or training, teens are not prepared to make the vehicle respond appropriately. The education segment (defensive driving) is designed to give the student a better understanding of the responsibilities and liabilities of the driver, vehicle dynamics, friction and the effects of intoxicating substances on their ability to operate the vehicle. This portion of the program gives the students a better understanding of why the vehicle responds the way it does and prepares them for exercises on the driving range. The basic principles of safe, defensive driving are emphasized throughout this program. Skills and Techniques: The purpose and the structure of this program is to give young drivers a strong foundation from which they can continue to develop and improve their driving skills to a consistently high level while maintaining safe driving habits. Due to lack of experience, most teens have little or no idea how a vehicle responds in a given situation or how to regain control under various circumstances. Eight basic skills, actions, and/or techniques of driving are identified as areas that teens need experience or training in to safely operate a motor vehicle. Steering, acceleration, deceleration, backing, and off-road recovery are some of the tasks addressed in this program. Training exercises have been adopted from the law enforcement training manual that is approved by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Student drivers must complete the following exercises: Training Exercises: 1. Evasive Maneuvers 2. Off -Road Recovery 3. Threshold – Emergency Braking 4. Forward Serpentine 5. Cornering 6. Reverse Serpentine 7. Backing 8. Figure 8 All classes are conducted under the direct supervision of certified high-liability driving instructors. Instructors ride with each student and students move to the next exercise only after the instructor feels the student has demonstrated a reasonable degree of skill. PLEASE NOTE: A valid learner or operator license, a minimum of 6 months active driving experience, a vehicle, and photocopies of the teen’s driver’s license and insurance card are required to complete this program. This course is NOT a substitute for the basic driver’s education course. The program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Once a particular date is full, an alternate date will be offered. We utilize a waiting list for each class to fill cancellation vacancies. Course registration forms are emailed to participants one to two weeks before each class with the class reminder email. The class is offered on a Friday evening (classroom instruction) and all day the following Saturday (driving course). There is no cost. Pizza and beverages are provided for dinner Friday night and lunch on Saturday. Students are given a course completion certificate Saturday. Friday – Registration is from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., and class is from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., usually at the Sheriff’s Administration Building located at 10750 Ulmerton Road in Largo. Saturday – Class is from 8 a.m. to about 3 p.m. and is at 5921 150th Avenue in Clearwater. This is an empty parking lot located next to High Point Elementary School.