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State Farm Contributes, Commits to Teen Driver Challenge

January 19, 2012

For Immediate Release:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2012) – The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA) is pleased to announce that State Farm has contributed $100,000 to the Teen Driver Challenge, an educational driver improvement course developed in 2007. The check to support this critical youth program was presented during the FSA Mid-Winter Conference banquet at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. State Farm’s contribution is a considerable investment in Florida’s youngest drivers that will keep our roads safer for everyone. 

From left: Curtis Hunter, Julie Smith, Marino Rodriguez and FSA President Sheriff Ben Johnson.

The Teen Driver Challenge was created at the request of Florida Sheriffs to combat the high crash and fatality rate of teen drivers on Florida’s highways. Instructors are certified law enforcement officers and certified emergency vehicle operation instructors. They also are certified and licensed by the State of Florida Division of Highway Safety and Motors Vehicles, under the FSA’s State of Florida Commercial Driving School License. This program is the largest commercial driving school in Florida and is offered to teens at no charge. Costs to run this program are covered through contributions from local Sheriff’s Offices and grants from State Farm and the Florida Department of Transportation.

“State Farm strongly supports efforts that increase auto safety, specifically teen driver safety,” said Julie Smith, public affairs specialist for State Farm. “The Teen Driver Challenge is a perfect fit with our overall strategy to encourage safe driving habits in Florida.”

Based on miles driven, teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of deaths for teens. 

To date, more than 6,000 teens have successfully completed the Teen Driver Challenge in Florida, which is offered in 40 of the 67 Sheriffs’ Offices in Florida.  To register for the program or find class offerings in your area, please contact your local Sheriff’s Office.

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For more information:

Nanette Schimpf, APR
Moore Consulting Group
850-224-0174 work or 850-528-2639 cell

About Florida Sheriffs Association:
The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of Florida’s Sheriffs, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 70,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has quietly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law-enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services.  Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA both established and continues to fund the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. The Florida Sheriffs Association has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation. For more information on the Florida Sheriffs Association, visit

About State Farm®:
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 37 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit


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