Each State, in cooperation with its political subdivisions and tribal governments, should develop and implement a comprehensive, culturally competent highway safety program, reflective of State demographics, to achieve a significant reduction in traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries on public roads. All programs should be data driven and the highway safety program should be closely coordinated with the SAFETEA-LU mandated Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The highway safety program should include a driver education and training program designed to educate new drivers……. This guideline describes the components that the State driver education program should include and the minimum criteria that the program components should meet:


I. Program Management

Each State should have centralized program planning, implementation and coordination to deliver comprehensive and uniform driver education. Evaluation should be used to revise existing programs, develop new programs and determine progress and success. The State Highway Safety Office (SHSO) should:

Provide leadership, training and technical assistance to public and private providers of driver education to ensure consistency and quality;

Identify an entity to provide oversight over driver education programs delivered within the; and

Evaluate the effectiveness of the State’s driver education program.


II. Legislation, Regulation, and Policy

Each State should enact and enforce laws and policies intended to reduce crashes caused by young drivers. To enhance the effectiveness of driver education, States should:

Enact GDL laws that include three stages of licensure, and that place restrictions and sanctions on high risk driving situations for novice drivers (i.e., nighttime driving restrictions, passenger restrictions, zero tolerance, required safety belt use).

Develop driver education standards and guidelines to which all driver education programs must adhere to satisfy licensing requirements for young, novice drivers.

Ensure that completion of driver education programs will not reduce time required for young drivers to proceed through a graduated driver licensing system.


III. Enforcement Program

Components of the enforcement program should include:

Visible and well-publicized law enforcement of the components of the graduated driver licensing law;

Licensing action consequences for violations of these provisions

State agency oversight of driver education programs to ensure delivery of approved state curriculum; and

Administrative or financial penalties for programs in non-compliance.


IV. Driver Education and Training Program

I. There is a driver education program available to all youths of licensing age which:

1) Is taught by instructors certified by the State as qualified for these purposes.

2) Provides each student with practice driving and instruction in at least the following so that the novice driver is able to:

    Demonstrate a working knowledge of rules, regulations and procedures of operating an automobile;

    Use visual search skills to obtain correct information and make reduced-risk decisions for effective speed and position adjustments;

    Interact with other users within the Highway Transportation System by adjusting speed, space, and communications to avoid conflicts and reduce risk;

    Demonstrate balanced vehicle movement through steering, braking, and accelerating in a precise and timely manner throughout a variety of adverse conditions;

    Recognize vehicle technology systems and explain the benefit of braking, traction, intelligent handling and stability systems.

    Confirm the need to protect oneself and others through using active and passive vehicle occupant protection systems;

    Display knowledge of responsible actions in regard to physical and psychological conditions affecting driver performance; and

    Extend supervised practice with licensed parent or guardian to develop precision in the use of skills, processes, habits and responsibilities.

    Positioning a vehicle:
    Based on visual referencing skills, dividing attention, space management,

    Procedures and sequencing for vehicle operational skill:
    Based on pre-drive checks, driver readiness procedures, vehicle control skills, vehicle maneuvering, vehicle position and/or speed selection, and vehicle balance.

    Processing traffic and vehicle information into appropriate speed and position selection:
    Based on visual search skills, dividing attention, and space management as measured by vehicle speed, roadway position, driver commentary, and appropriate communication.

    Precision movements for maintaining vehicle control and balance in expected and unexpected situations:
    Based on vehicle speed control, dividing attention, vehicle balance, collision avoidance, response to mechanical failures, and traction loss prevention, detection, and control.

    Extend supervised practice with licensed parent or guardian:
    Based on delivery of parent guide and completion of Program Skills Log.

II. There is a State research and development program including adequate research, development and procurement of practice driving facilities, simulators, and other similar teaching aids for both school and other driver training use.

III. There is a program for adult driver training and retraining.

IV. Commercial driving schools are licensed and commercial driving instructors are certified in accordance with specific criteria adopted by the State.


V. Communication Program

States should develop and implement communication strategies directed at supporting policy and program elements. The SHSO should develop a statewide communications plan and campaign that:

Informs the public about State GDL laws

Identifies audiences at particular risk and develops appropriate messages

Provide culturally competent materials

Informs parents/guardians about the role of supervised driving


VI. Program Evaluation and Data

The SHSO should develop a comprehensive evaluation program to measure progress toward established project goals and objectives and optimize the allocation of limited resources. The State should promote effective evaluation by:

Supporting the analysis of police accident reports;

Encouraging, supporting and training localities in process, impact and outcome evaluation of local programs;

Evaluating the use of program resources and the effectiveness of existing countermeasures for the general public and high-risk populations; and

Ensuring that evaluation results are used to identify problems, plan new programs and improve existing programs.