Malta Automobile Club: Parent-Teen Driving Agreement (AAA)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 15:20

Now that the academic year is practically over, the Malta Automobile Club wishes to suggest the introduction of a written ‘Parent-Teen Driving Agreement’ similar to the one promoted by the American Automobile Association (AAA). Since the AAA has several years of experience in driver-education and conducts serious research, the Malta Automobile Club does not need to re-invent the wheel, and it proposes that parents of teenagers who have obtained a new driving licence adopt the current AAA agreement.

The Malta Automobile Club wishes to invite teenagers and other young drivers who own their own vehicles to consider the possibility of entering into a similar agreement – with the appropriate changes – reached between themselves and their parents.

The whole point of this agreement is to help teenagers and young drivers to understand their responsibility towards safe driving with the help of their parents, now that they are likely to have more free time on their hands than during the academic year.

It is important that when teenagers and young drivers have some more time to enjoy themselves, they make the best use of such time without getting hurt or hurting others. A written agreement can clearly set goals and expectations that encourage safe driving, and help both parents and teenage drivers avoid misunderstandings about vehicle use. These agreements might also relieve the parents from some stressful times associated with new teenage drivers in their family.

Parents and teenagers who wish to obtain a copy of the AAA Parent-Teen Driving Agreement may either search for it on the AAA website, or send a message to the Malta Automobile Club through its page on Facebook.

The AAA Parent-Teen Driving Agreement has a number of sections. It starts with a set of “Non-negotiable rules, and the teenager must acknowledge each rule with his or her initials. Then there are other general rules that need to be agreed upon by both the parents and the teenagers concerned.courtesies and considerations.The agreement also has a set of courtesies and considerations, which teenagers must acknowledge with their initials. On the other hand parents need to indicate the various privileges and responsibilities that apply.

Among other things, the agreement seeks to avoid high-risk driving situations during the first few months of driving by a teenager. Some limits on nighttime driving are included. The use of alcohol or other drugs by the driver or passengers in the vehicle is prohibited. All vehicle occupants are required to wear safety belts at all times. The number of other teenage passengers in the vehicle is restricted.

The agreement goes into other details. The maximum number of times a teenager may drive each week and the number of miles to be covered are linked to a grade point average. Routine upkeep and maintenance checks for operating the car are determined in advance.

The agreement also goes into what percentage a teenager contributes towards the expenses involved in using and maintaining the vehicle. In the end, the agreement lists the loss of privileges in relation to specific traffic violations.

The Malta Automobile Club believes that an agreement of this nature reached voluntarily between the parents and the teenagers concerned promotes safe driving and responsible behavior on the road. While teenagers and other young drivers are at the beginning of their driving experiences,the set of rules help such young persons avoid unnecessary risks, and become mature drivers in a shorter period of time.

The Malta Automobile Club appeals to the insurance companies to offer discounts or lower the premiums to those families who supply a copy of such a parent-teen driving agreement to them. The Club would be glad to act as a repository of electronic copies of such agreements reached between parents and teenagers, if they so wish. It is hoped that the introduction of such an agreement this summer will result in better driving behavior by our teenagers, more safety on our roads for all road users, and less accidents among teenagers.

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