Secretary of State launches program to promote teen driving safety

6:02 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has launched a new statewide program to help parents better educate their children who are learning how to drive.

The program, called the "Parent's Supervised Driving Program," is designed to supplement the regular driver's education program curriculum.  Parents of teens getting their learner's permit will now be given a copy of the program after the required parental involvement component is completed.

At a news conference announcing the new program Thursday, officials said the program is designed to reduce the number of motor vehicle fatalities, which currently is the leading cause of death among teenagers.  

"The biggest part of this program is getting young drivers to understand it can happen to them.  It doesn't have to.  That's why we call them crashes.  We don't call them accidents.  It's not inevitable," Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said.

The program is divided into different sections and skill sets such as parking, backing up, and city and highway driving.  Parents and teens are given information to successfully complete each of the categories, and to develop safe driving habits at a young age.

"Driving is a privilege and an important responsibility, and the learning doesn't stop after the driver's license is issued," Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles Director of Driver License Services Patty Morneault said.

Maine is now one of nine states that currently have the new supervised driving program.

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