StudentDriver_1115

I’ve heard from many readers who have appreciated the information I’m sharing about teen drivers. If we can start them off right behind the wheel, our roads will be safer (and we parents will sleep better!).

Toward that end, I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful company doing good things for our communities. The Driver Training Academy, located in Colorado Springs, is helping to make our roads safer every single day. My firm has had a long-standing relationship with Dave Tolbert, the owner, and I can tell you that the people who work at his company are special.

“Working at the Academy is a vocation for us. We want to keep the community safe.”

For example, I recently spoke with Chuck Shaw, a senior coach with the Academy. Chuck, who is also a safety officer at a Colorado Springs elementary school, told me, “Most of us who work at the Academy also have full-time positions elsewhere involving safety for our community. Many of us are active duty or retired military. Working at the Academy is a vocation for us. We want to keep the community safe.”

While we were talking, I asked about the Colorado driver permit process. I have a son in middle school, so this is quickly coming up in my rearview mirror! (Personal injury attorneys like car metaphors.) Chuck explained the process to me as follows:

Class Work

The whole process starts with 30 hours of online and/or classroom work, but you can’t start this process until you are at least 14 years and 11 months old. Chuck recommends taking the 30 hours as a blend of online and classroom time because there is a lot of value in building a rapport with the teacher and other classmates, who may ask questions and share scenarios that your child wouldn’t consider.

Permit for One Year

Once your child reaches the age of 15 and completes the 30 hours of work, he or she can get a permit. When getting this permit, at least one adult must sign up with the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles as the “responsible party” who will assure that the permitted driver logs 50 hours of time behind the wheel.

Your teen driver may drive with other adults, but only the time with the designated responsible driver counts toward those 50 hours.

Professional Driver Training

During that year under the permit, your teen driver also needs six hours of driving time with a licensed professional trainer. Ideally, this training occurs on all kinds of roads, including city, rural and highway. (I’ll write more soon about the things you should look for in a driver training company.)

License

After one year with a permit, including 50 hours of logged drive time with the responsible party and six hours with the professional trainer, your teen is ready to drive on his or her own. Of course, there are more rules about who can be in the car with a newly licensed driver, which I will write about at another time.

If you live in or near the Colorado Springs area, I highly recommend the Driver Training Academy. They will even pick kids up from as far away as Peyton, CO!