Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Larry R. Ashley

Teen Driver Challenge (TDC)

Sheriff Ashley is committed to the safety of our youth and is pleased to offer a new safety program for teen drivers called the Teen Driver Challenge (TDC). The Teen Driver Challenge is backed by the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) and supported by the Sheriff. The Teen Driving Challenge is a free course designed to help teens boost their driving skills and lessen the chances of being involved in a crash. The sad fact is that teens are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash as other drivers.

“Anything we can do to make our streets safer for citizens of every age is a smart step in the right direction,” said Sheriff Ashley. The program is a 9-hour course taught over several days that trains teens how to prevent crashes through defensive driving techniques and evasive maneuvers. The program provides a mixture of classroom instruction and hands-on driver training at the Northwest Florida State College driving range in Niceville.

Teens 15-19 are eligible and MUST have a valid Learner’s Permit/Florida Operators License and participants must provide their own car. 15 years old MUST hold their permit 6 months before taking the course. The Sheriff’s Office will not provide cars for this program.

TDC Program Dates

  • Classroom Portion – Friday, September 18, 2015 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. at the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Administration Building
  • Driving Portion – Saturday, September 19, 2015 morning session from 7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or afternoon session from 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. at Northwest Florida State College Driving Range.
  • Classroom Portion – Friday, October 9, 2015 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. at the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Administration Building
  • Driving Portion – Saturday, October 10, 2015 morning session from 7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or afternoon session from 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. at Northwest Florida State College Driving Range.

Future class dates will be posted here when they become available. Please direct all questions, comments or requests for information to the TDC Point of Contact:

Elizabeth Forgette – 850 613-2212 – eforgette@sheriff-okaloosa.org

Due to a high demand for the Teen Driver Challenge course and limited seating (12 per class), two attempts will be made to notify the student / guardian of their class date the week before the class. If the student’s attendance is not confirmed, they will be dropped from the class and will need to reapply.

The following forms are required for participation in the Teen Driver Challenge program:

Forms may require PDF reader to view and/or print. Download and install a free version of Acrobat Reader from Adobe’s website by following this link.

The Teen Driver Challenge is not an advanced driving course. It is a defensive driving program that covers the following topics and driving exercises:

Classroom Topics (4 Hours)

  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Human Factors
  • Responsibility
  • Liability
  • Drug and Alcohol Use
  • Night Driving
  • Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
Driving Range Exercises (5 Hours)

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

Related Links and Info


Teen Driver Challenge

Sponsors Needed for TDC

Want to sponsor the Teen Driver Challenge? Send an e-mail to pio@sheriff-okaloosa.org for more information.

Thank you to the these Teen Driver Challenge Contributors:

  • Jay Odom
  • NWFSC Criminal Justice Training Center
  • Bay Chrysler, Panama City
  • Lenny’s Sub Shop
  • O’Reilly’s Auto Parts
  • Niceville Wal Mart
  • Majic Muffler of N.W.FL
  • Niceville Chick-fil-A
  • Niceville Subway
  • State Farm Insurance – Frank Walker Agency
  • Giff’s Sub Shop of Fort Walton Beach
  • Firehouse Subs of Destin
  • Auto Zone on Eglin Pkwy