New program designed to keep teenage drivers safe and sound behind the wheel

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 26, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — From high school grades and college choices to the dating scene and social pressures, parents of teenagers have a lot to worry about and monitor. Notable in that list of concerns is the fact teenagers are often anxious for one important rite of passage — obtaining a driver’s license and taking on the open road independently.

Because of the risks involved when young drivers take to the road, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson joined Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Stephen Campbell to announce the implementation of the Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, an innovative new program designed to prevent motor vehicle crashes among teen drivers through education and awareness of teen driving restrictions.

“This program is vital to protecting our young drivers,” Edmonson said.

The offering provides parents and guardians with a simple and easy-to-follow plan to assist teens in becoming safe and responsible drivers, and focuses on the role of the parent in the teen driver education process. The program encourages parents and teens to drive together in a variety of different conditions, including different times of day, inclement weather, unfamiliar settings and heavy traffic routes.

According to a 2012 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm study, teen drivers whose parents are highly involved in the teen driver education process were half as likely to get in a car crash, 71 percent less likely to drive intoxicated, 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving and twice as likely to wear seat belts.

The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, provided by the OMV and made available through State Farm sponsorship funds, also outlines the Graduated Driver’s License laws in Louisiana. 

According to OMW officials, nearly 69,000 Louisiana teens obtain learner’s permits each year. Getting a permit requires at least 50 hours, including 15 hours at night, of parental supervised driving. 

“Getting a driver’s license is such a special moment in a teen’s life, but it often causes increased anxiety for parents,” Ed Gold, State Farm marketing director, said. “Research tells us the single most important thing parents can do to help their teens stay safe on the road is to allow as much supervised practice behind the wheel as possible.”

The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program offers an enhanced, supervised driving experience and encourages parents and guardians to extend the supervised driving period beyond the state requirements

The program is supplemented by the Road Ready mobile app, which was developed to easily and accurately track the required hours of supervised driving time. 

“Last year, 189 young drivers lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes across Louisiana”, Edmonson said. “One life lost is too many, and our goal of putting an end to these largely preventable tragedies requires the participation of parents who model safe driving behavior and openly communicate with their teen on their expectations and potential consequences.”

The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program is free and available to parents/guardians of teens on multiple platforms, beginning with the printed curriculum distributed at Louisiana OMV licensing centers when a teen receives their learner’s permit.

Parents and teens are also invited to connect with the program online through social media and the Road Ready mobile app.

Gold said driving with a parent builds a new driver’s confidence, and “we hope this new resource will help parents and teens make the most of this time together.”

For more information on the Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, visit