CLICK HERE for the Partners for Safe Teen Driving PowerPoint presentation and videos.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. In 2019, almost 2,400 teens in the United States aged 13-19 were killed, and about 258,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. That means that every day 7 teens aged 13-19 died due to motor vehicle crashes, and hundreds more were injured.
Involved, informed parents have long been considered the most influential factor in promoting safe teen driving. The mission of Partners for Safe Teen Driving is to help communities develop a parent education program, so that parents can guide their children through the first perilous years of driving.
The 2022 Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that went into effect July 1, 2022, adding a new parent component to classroom driver education. According to the Virginia Department of Education, Senate Bill 78 requires all approved public, private, and commercial driver training schools to add a 90-minute parent/student component to the classroom driver education curriculum.
During the presentation, parents/guardians and students learn about the risk factors of teen driving, Virginia's graduated licensing procedures, current driving techniques, procedures for helping teach their children to drive, curfew restrictions, and more. The program also encourages the use of a driving contract between parents and students to help keep students safe as they gain more driving experience.
Partners for Safe Teen Driving helps school divisions in Virginia implement their programs. A PowerPoint Presentation and brochures are available for use. For more information about Partners for Safe Teen Driving or to get started in your community, call (703) 791-7270.
As an expansion of the current "Move Over" law, drivers in Virginia must now move over or slow down when possible for any vehicle on the side of the road with flashing red, blue, amber, or hazard lights.
Previously, the law required drivers to change lanes and proceed with caution, if possible, when passing emergency vehicles and law enforcement vehicles displaying red or blue flashing lights, and utility, tow, and roadside assistance trucks displaying amber flashing lights on the roadside, according to AAA.
The change, effective July 1, 2023, expanded this protection to any stationary vehicle displaying hazard lights, warning signs (like an emergency triangle), or flares, AAA said. An example of a situation like this might be a driver who pulls over to the side of the road to fix a flat tire.