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Teen Driver Challenge

Sheriff Mike Prendergast is committed to the safety of the community including our youth and has implemented a number of programs directing the efforts of the Sheriff’s Office to provide education and training to protect them.  The program is known as “The Teen Driver Challenge". The challenge is backed by the Florida Sheriff’s Association and supported by the Sheriff.

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The Teen Driver Challenge is the result of a committee assembled by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, including law enforcement driving instructors from around the state and the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.

The committee identified that 25% to 30% of teen drivers will be involved in a crash during the first year of driving. Traffic crashes are the number one cause of death among teens and cause billions of dollars in loss annually.

The Teen Driver Challenge is an effective program providing information and first-hand experience. If confronted with an emergency situation students who complete this course will have the knowledge and skills to react accordingly and reduce the chance of becoming a statistic.

With those statistics alone, it was imperative that the committee address ways to reduce the risk our teens have in driving and build a program to provide instruction by Florida Department of Law Enforcement Certified Driving Instructors. The Teen Driver Challenge is not an advanced driving course. It is a defensive driving program that covers the following topics and driving exercises:


  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Human Factors
  • Responsibility
  • Liability
  • Drug and Alcohol Use
  • Night Driving
  • Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

Driving Exercises

  • Threshold, ABS, and Emergency Braking
  • Evasive Maneuvers
  • Cornering
  • Backing
  • Forward and Reverse Serpentine
  • Figure 8
  • Off Road Recovery
  • Skid Control

The teen is required to have a valid Florida Operators License and drive a car they will be using a majority of the time. (The Sheriff’s Office will not provide cars for this program.) Completed forms should be sent toCCSO' Training Section.  All forms must be notarized and include a copy of drivers license and valid car registration. The Sheriff's Office will also provide classes on a quarterly basis to students who are unable to attend a class at a high school.

Please click the links below for release forms and applications. For further information please contact the School Resource Deputy at your child’s high school.

726-2241 Ext. 4517 - SRD, Citrus High School
795-4641 Ext. 4822 - SRD, Crystal River High School
746-2334 Ext. 4227 - SRD, Lecanto High School

Classes are also available to students who do not attend a public high school. Just give us a call at 352-249-2790.