DMV: Half of Parents Admit That Mandatory Driving Classes are Making Them Better

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Here’s a news release from Bill Seymour, the communications director at the state Department of Motor Vehicles, with some editing by the Blogster.

“Connecticut’s new two-hour training requirement for parents, the first in the nation when adopted in 2008, is successful in its aim to educate parents about safety risks and other issues associated with their teenager driving for the first time. A recent federally funded survey done for the DMV shows that 85 percebnt of the parents reported that the training gave them more information to use in their parenting responsibilities with a teen driver; 82 percent they would recommend these classes to parents of other teen drivers, and nearly half said that the session caused them to do something different to improve their own training of their teen drivers.

The survey also measured their knowledge and understanding of some critical issues with teen driving. While only about half knew that teen brain development issues could impair their driving, more than 65 percent were aware of the basic passenger restriction and curfew laws. This is the first such study done in the country on a required parent information session in the training process for teen drivers.
In the survey,  almost half the parents also said that because of the training, they were doing things with their young  drivers they would not have done otherwise, such as enforcing the laws, reminding young drivers about the laws and dedicating more quality time for instruction.  Almost all parents were satisfied that all relevant topics were covered during the course.

All new drivers in Connecticut are required to take an eight-hour safe driving practices course at a driving school. Parents are required to attend two of these hours with their young driver to learn about various safety matters. The Department of Motor Vehicles provides driving schools with a general list of topics that must be covered in the two-hour parent/teen session.”

Categories: General

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7 Responses

  1. gonzotrucker says:

    Everybody should have extra training. I have a cdl, and over 2 million miles driven without an accident, and i learn something new every day. I’ve seen it all out here from bad drivers to really dangerous drivers so i think it’s a good idea.

  2. The training one can receive in a competent driving school can help teenagers as well as adults be more conscious and responsible regarding safe driving and traffic laws. Driving schools will carefully train you until you are ready to take the wheel as a responsible driver.

  3. DMV says:

    Although inconvenienced by this law, I am glad to have it. Us Americans have it too easy to get to driving on the roads. More exercises to keep us in tune with the laws can only benefit general road safety and is well worth it.

  4. SurvivetheDrive presented to over 10,000 teenage students in many high schools around the state this past school year, 50,000+ since 1996. “We offer crash-preventive information, understanding and strategies on which parents, the schools, the police and the state DMV can use reinforcement.” said Bob Green, director of the program. “No police, ambulance, fire personnel wish to go to the scene of a crash, they’re compelled to respond to help, we’re trying to prevent the mishap.” We use facts and a science-based approach; no threats, gruesome pictures, grief or sorrow. Awareness, information, attitude and behavior prevent crashes.

    Few people know that car crashes are now the leading cause of human violence, . . . that’s injury and death . . ., in our country . . . and, in fact on the planet. Our state is not immune. Better prevention is the key, education is the tool.

    To date the Connecticut DMV has not availed itself of this not-for-profit advisory service, either for parent training or teen driver education.

  5. Jim Ricci says:

    Mr. Dixon Thanks for the follow up. $25,000 to come up with a feel good survey sure reinforces my faith in the DMV & DOT’s ability to waste tax payers $$$ every chance they get. This survey could have been obtained using existing DMV personnel who are charged with spot checking the classes. You would end up with a much larger sample and more comprehensive results.
    Bottom line- What does the DMV plan to do with the results? Are they going to finally come up with standards? Or as I stated (asked but not answered) was the DMV more interested in knowing if the driving schools expressed dissatisfaction with the DMV. (5% of the parents said they did).
    Perhaps some fine tuning needs to be made in the program to make it even better. Safer roads should be a priority for all of us.
    To date the DMV still does not have basic standards for the behind the wheel road test or training for the agents who conduct the road tests. While we are trying to encourage parent involvement in teen driving training the Department still has no standards to try to minimize having parents with suspended licenses from training new drivers.
    Perhaps Mr. Seymour would like to tackle these questions, all the DMV has been telling me for over a year is that no standards exist.

  6. Ken Dixon says:

    Bill Seymour, DMV spokesman, responds:
    “The survey was paid through state Department of Transportation federal highway safety funds and cost $25,000.

    The two-hour parent session is part of an overall 8-hour safe driving practices session ALL new driver applicants are required to take. Home schooled folks take it at a driving school for a cost not to exceed $125. For those trained at a commercial driving school, the entire 8-hour session (including the 2-hour parent session) is part of the overall fee paid to the school for classroom and on-the-road training.”

  7. Jim Ricci says:

    I’m a big fan of this law and the results appear to be in the right direction. Of course the DMV has no clear standards for the course. Example– what prevents a parent from taking the class AFTER the student has been trained behind-the-wheel. We all know that’s happening, we just don’t know to what extent. The DMV seem more interesting in finding out what the schools were saying about the DMV– (read the survey). Why are we using tax payers money for that.

    In fact how much did it cost to get the opinion of 300 parents?
    Just a few questions I would love a reported to ask.