The Florida Sheriffs Association Teen Driver Challenge is a free advanced driving class designed to help Alachua County high school students become safer, more confident drivers. This one-day class is taught by certified Law Enforcement driving instructors, and involves exposing the teen drivers to many different situations they may encounter while driving on the open roads.

Teen Driver Challenge Car and Seatbelt Convincer

This challenging defensive driving class is conducted on a safe, closed driving range. The instructors give the teen drivers the hands-on experience needed if they find themselves in a situation while driving that requires quick decision making and action being taken. Areas covered include proper braking, negotiating a figure 8 (steering), forward and reverse serpentine, cornering, intersection backing, evasive maneuvering, off-road recovery, and skid recovery. Participants use their own family vehicles for the majority of exercises, and are given instruction on how to conduct a basic vehicle safety check before driving.

The Teen Driver Challenge is an advanced driving class. Applicants are required to be at least 15 years old and possess a valid, state-issued Learner’s License or Driver’s License. In addition, applicants should already have basic driving knowledge and abilities, with enough practical driving experience to feel comfortable behind the wheel.  

The Teen Driver Challenge is scheduled several times a year, rain or shine, subject to staffing availability. Classes are limited to 18 students and fill up very quickly. Reserving a seat and turning in all necessary paperwork in a timely manner is essential. Classes are held on Saturdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm at the Institute of Public Safety, located at 3737 NE 39th Avenue in Gainesville. Students should bring a bag lunch and drink to class; we do not leave until the end of the day. Parents dropping their students off with a vehicle should have a “pick up ride” arranged beforehand – they may not remain on-site during the classroom or driving sessions of the Teen Driver Challenge.

To reserve a seat for an upcoming Teen Driver Challenge class, please e-mail your contact information to: teendriver@acso.us

For more information about the Teen Driver Challenge, please call the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Relations Bureau at 352-367-4099 between 8:00am and 3:00pm.