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New Nebraska program helps educate teen drivers
August 08, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Nebraska has recently made available a new program to help soon-to-be drivers learn safe driving skills prior to getting their license.

“The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program” is a requirement for teen licensing. It’s designed to help parents and guardians teach the supervised driving requirement for teenagers with their learner’s permits.

Implemented on July 23, the program is a public-private partnership between the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Ford Motor Company. The program is provided at no cost and no expense to taxpayers.

The program emphasizes driving skill development and expanding the conditions and time that teens drive with their parents prior to obtaining their driver’s license and driving independently.

DMV District Supervisor Bob Strauch said the program helps parents gradually ease their child into acquiring driving skills, rather than just heading out into traffic.

“The program gives parents a process in teaching kids how to drive,” he said. “When kids come in and apply for a learner’s permit, they get one of the booklets.”

The booklet covers all of the basics of driving. Topics include vehicle control, distracted driving, moving, steering and stopping, backing up, changing lanes, parking, driving on both rural roads and quiet city streets, and many others.

The program urges teens and their adult supervisors to drive in a variety of settings – weather conditions, rural roads and city streets, in both light and heavy traffic.

“The program is still pretty new, so we haven’t had much feedback on its success,” Strauch said. “I think it has a lot of good information. It also has guidelines for parents who, as experienced drivers, might have unrealistic expectations from learners.”

He said the goal is to give the child enough needed experience that he or she is ready to drive independently once the driver’s license is obtained at age 16.

“The youth of Nebraska are one of our most valuable resources,” Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman said when the program was launched statewide. “We are excited to be able to provide a program that will assist them in developing good driving skills and becoming more responsible users of the roadways in our state. I’m confident both the teens and their parents and guardians will benefit greatly from the program.”
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