A NEW MODEL TEEN DRIVING AGREEMENT
May 7, 2012
by Tim Hollister, author of "From Reid's Dad," a national blog for parents of teen drivers
I am pleased to be asked to provide a guest post on this blog. I write a national blog for parents of teen drivers, "From Reid's Dad,"www.fromreidsdad.org. One of my major recent efforts has been to come up with an improved national model for a teen driving agreement.
In December 2009, after spending several months researching several dozen teen driving contracts from around the country, and using both my knowledge of teen driving and my experience as a lawyer with contracts, I posted three articles on my blog: one about what not to do in teen driver agreements (provisions that I thought were incomplete, misstated, misleading, misguided, etc.); one about how to negotiate a teen driving agreement (emphasizing that it should be a collaborative process); and one about how to work with and enforce a signed agreement. Then in February 2010 I posted my own national model, a compilation of best practices that I had gleaned from the best national models.
A few months ago, here in Connecticut, Commissioner Melody Currey of our Department of Motor Vehicles convened a new Advisory Group on Safe Teen Driving and asked the group to do three things: come up with a statewide model teen driving agreement specifically for Connecticut; create a model curriculum for the two hour, mandatory safety class that Connecticut since 2008 has required parents to attend when their 16 or 17 year old has a learner’s permit; and produce an instructional video about critical safety information for parents to see during that required class. I was member of the teen driving agreement subcommittee. Over several weeks the subcommittee considered my model, a model developed by the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and host of others from around the country, and came up with a wide variety of improvements on the prior models (including mine) and a consensus recommendation for a new one. At a meeting in early December, the Advisory Committee adopted a new model for Connecticut.
The adoption of this new model for Connecticut led me to go back to my own national model and incorporate the improvements and insights that the Connecticut subcommittee had provided, which I have now done. The newly revised model is now available on the landing page ofmy blog, www.fromreidsdad.org, downloadable as a pdf. It is a national model but is easily adaptable to your state and family situation. A Spanish language version is also on the landing page.
Here are the important improvements and features contained in this newly revised version
I am not aware of any teen driving agreement available at this time that combines all of these futures and best practices. I respectfully submit that this newly revised model is step forward, and hope that traffic safety organizations, DMV’s, insurers, auto manufacturers, driving schools and instructors, and others around the country will give it serious consideration.
Finally, I recognize that, as many improvement as we have made, the work is never done, and as always I welcome comments, suggestions, and improvements on how this newly revised model posted today can be further improved.