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The Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the Polk County School Board has started the “Teen Driver Challenge”.

The Polk County School Board and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office recognize the importance of safe teen driving programs, and are working together to educate Polk County’s teens in methods and techniques to become safer drivers.

Teen Drivers had the highest crash rate of any age group in Florida last year, when more than 32,000 teen drivers were involved in crashes.  Last year, 383 people in the State of Florida were killed in an accident where a teen was driving.

SheriffMessage from Sheriff Judd

Most people don’t realize that teenagers die more often in traffic crashes than for any other reason. The only way we can reduce this likelihood is to better inform teens and teach them how to become safer, more effective drivers. The Teen Driver Challenge does just that – it provides our young drivers with hands-on experience and classroom learning, reducing their risk of becoming another tragic statistic. We encourage parents and teenagers to get involved in this valuable program – all it costs is twelve hours of your time, but the rewards are priceless.

Download the Release Form  here.

To register your teen for the Teen Driver Challenge simply complete the release form and email it to us at teendriverchallenge@polksheriff.org or mail it to Master Deputy J. Wombles at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Central District Command Center located at 3635 Avenue G, N.W. Winter Haven, FL 33880. Additionally, if more convenient you can drop off the completed release form at any Polk County Sheriff’s Office substation and simply request that it be forwarded to Master Deputy Wombles.

 What is the Teen Driver Challenge?

The Teen Driver Challenge consists of two training days, a total of twelve hours. 

The first day includes a four-hour block of instruction in the classroom, while the second day is an eight-hour block of instruction on the driving range.




 The Classroom

During the four hours in the classroom, the students will be provided with a workbook. In the workbook, the students will review the following topics and chapters:

  • Teen Crash Facts
  • Knowing Your Vehicle
  • Use Common “Senses” When Driving
  • Belt Yourself, It Won’t Hurt
  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Safe Driving Can Be Habit Forming
  • Alcohol,The $8000 Drink
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Driving Exercises

 The Driving Range

During the eight hours on the driving range, the students’ driving course will consist of a variety of exercises to help develop their driving skills. The driving course may include the following exercises:

  • Figure 8 Exercise
  • Threshold Braking Exercises
  • Forward Serpentine Exercise
  • Reverse Serpentine Exercise
  • Cornering Exercise
  • Off Road Recovery Exercise

 Class Locations and Times

Classroom instruction will be held  on Fridays, 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M., at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Central District Command Center located at 3635 Avenue G, N.W. Winter Haven, FL 33880.

The driving portion of the program will be held on Saturdays, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., at the PCSO Training Center located at 2201 Old Bartow/Eagle Lake Road, Bartow, FL  33830.

Students must attend the classroom instruction of the training prior to attending the driving portion of the program.

Participants in the Florida Sheriffs Association Teen Driver Challenge will be required to bring and operate their vehicles during the training.  Only one student per vehicle will be permitted (no sharing of vehicles during training).  Students must have their valid driver licenses, vehicle registrations, and insurance cards during the driving portion of the training.

The dates for the Teen Driver Challenge  are:

January 26th & 27th, 2018

February 23rd & 24th, 2018

March 30th  & 31st, 2018

April 27th & 28th, 2018





 For more information

For more information, please contact you county representative

Polk County Contact Information:
D/S Johnnie Wombles 863-297-1109

Or Email us at teendriverchallenge@polksheriff.org


1. Students must be at least 15 years of age and must not have reached 20 years of age.
2. Students must possess either a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license.
3. Students are asked to have a minimum of one month’s driving experience with a parent or other qualified adult before attending this class.
4. The 4 hour classroom presentation is always held at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Central District Command Center (3635 Ave G N.W. Winter Haven, Fl. 33880) and is always on Friday night. We ask the students to arrive at 5:45 P.M.  This gives us time to talk to parents. Classroom training begins promptly at 6:00 P.M. Parents may  attend the classroom portion in support of their teen.
5. The driving exercises will be held at our PCSO Training center located at 2201 Old Bartow/Eagle Lake Road, Bartow, FL 33830 on Saturday.
6. Students must provide their own vehicle, in good mechanical condition, full of fuel and other fluids.
7. Students with a learner’s permit must be accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older when arriving and anytime when leaving the facilities. Parents are not required to stay; however, they may do so if they choose. Parents are not allowed in the vehicle during the training and must provide arrangements for their teen’s lunch and accompany them when they are released to go home, (Learners permits only).
8. Students or their parents must call  297-1100 to obtain an available class date.
9. Parents and / or students are required to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 297-1109 to confirm that the student will be attending the training prior to 48 hours before the class date. This is to confirm the student will actually be participating and prevent empty seats in the training class.
10. Upon completion of the twelve (12) hours course of instruction, the student will receive a completion certificate. Parents may present the student workbook and certificate to their insurance carriers for possible premium reduction consideration. We do not; however,  guarantee insurance discounts. 

 ‭(Hidden)‬ EasyTabs

The Florida Sheriff's Association - Teen Driver Challenge - Sheriff's Teaching Teen Driver Safety

Funding provided by the Dori Slosberg Highway Safety Education Funds