DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds, in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Transportation, announced an initiative new to Iowa designed to help teen drivers and their parents more safely navigate the early years of driving.
The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program gives parents and guardians a simple, easy-to-follow plan designed to encourage safe driving habits. In addition, the program includes the popular RoadReady® mobile app for iPhone and Android which helps families log and manage the hours a new driver spends behind the wheel. Developed by Safe Roads Alliance and with the support of sponsors, Toyota and State Farm, this program is provided at no cost to the state or Iowa families.
Mark Lowe, Director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, said, “Seeing our children learn and grow into responsible citizens is a delight. Those first outings with your teen behind the wheel can be the most formative for our new drivers, and a bit nerve-racking for both them and their parents. With this program, parents will have tools and tips to make the learning experience behind the wheel safer and easier, and more effective.”
The program consists of a guidebook that will be provided to Iowa teens obtaining an instruction permit at any driver’s license issuance site. It is also available online and can be downloaded at http://www.eregulations.com/driving/iowa/. The guide is strategically divided into lessons that make it easy to focus on specific skills and move from more basic to advanced through the book. To track the hours new drivers are required to put in behind the wheel, you can also download the free app from your phone’s app store by searching “RoadReady.” In Iowa, new drivers are required to have a minimum of 20 hours behind the wheel to advance from an instruction permit to an intermediate license. However, parents are strongly encouraged to have their new driver experience a variety of driving conditions including seasonal weather conditions, nighttime versus daytime, and different levels of traffic.
Lowe said “We know that the more time a teen spends driving with a parent or other guardian, the safer they will be when they start driving on their own. The program gives parents and guardians a strategy for guiding and expanding early driving experiences that makes effective use of their critical time together, as well as builds confidence they are doing the right things to prepare their teen for safe driving.”
“Parents are the key to ensuring the safety of teen drivers,” said Emily Stein, president of Safe Roads Alliance. “This is such an important phase when teens are learning to drive, and the more engaged parents are at this time, the more likely that teens will avoid being in a crash once they are driving on their own. We are very grateful to State Farm and Toyota, as their sponsorship allows us to provide this program to families in Iowa at no cost.”
The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program is now in use in more than 26 states nationwide. More information about the program and instruction permits is available online. The RoadReady mobile app provides a fun and useful way to track the required hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience; available for iPhones at the App Store and for Android on Google Play.