The Bernardsville Police Department has scheduled two presentions of New Jersey’s "Share the Keys" training in conjunction with the New Jersey Division of Highway and Traffic Safety designed to educate parents of teen drivers about the New Jersey Graduated Drivers License program and their roles in the successful training of their inexperienced teen drivers.
The program is designed promarily to encourage parental support in monitoring their childrens' driving behaviors and compliance with the GDL laws in an effort to reduce teen accidents and injuries, Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine said on Monday.
"Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and disability in teens and young adults," Valentine said on Monday in announcing the free program.The program is free, he added.
"'Share the Keys' is approximately 60 to 90 minutes in length and is an interactive program designed for teens and their parents to expand their knowledge and understanding of the Graduated Driver’s License Program to help keep our children safer as they become teen drivers," Valentine said.
The program is scheduled to be presented by Bernardsville Patrolman Paul Kelley at 7 p.m. on Wednesday Feb. 20 at the Bernardsville Municipal Building and again at 7 p.m. on March 20 at the Bernardsville Public Library.
Seating is limited to 40 people each night so participants are requested to sign up in advance by contacting the police department at 908-766-0037, ext. 0, or via email to email@example.com.
The program was developed by the N.J. Division of Highway Traffic Safety & Kean University for those involved in the GDL process, the chief said.
The announcement said the program is intended to assist the parents of "Permit, and Probationary” drivers about the intricacies of the GDL laws and to offer positive tips on how to coach their kids during the teen driver training process.
Valentine said the police department sometimes receives questions about how the law works, but the main reason for the program is to help parents guide their children through the process to become safe drivers.
"While many teens lose their lives on our roadways, many more are living with disabilities, including brain injury as a result of these crashes," he said in the announcement.
According to the announcement, teenaged drivers are involved in nearly 43,000 motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey each year. Nationally, nearly 6,000 teens die and more than 300,000 are injured in motor vehicle accidents, the announcement.
"Driver-inexperience plays a major role in these crashes," the announcement said. "It takes about 1,000 hours of driving practice or about two years before a driver is deemed to be 'experienced,'" the announcement said.
More information is available by calling Patrol Officer Paul Kelley at 908-766-0037 or visiting the New Jersey teen driving website.