TALLAHASSEE, FL, March 27, 2007 — The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has approved this month Florida's first home study booklet course for use by drivers who have received a citation for a moving violation and seek a convenient alternative to a classroom course to fulfill their traffic school certification requirement.
The unique new booklet course, which is a four hour Basic Driver Improvement (BDI) and Traffic Crash Avoidance Course (TCAC), was created, designed and produced by Traffic Safety Consultants, Inc. (TSC). With regional headquarters in Winter Park, FA, the company for the past 30 years has been one of the nation's largest providers of traffic safety education. TSC also operates traffic schools in Florida and has a certified internet, classroom and DVD/video course.
According to Lawrence Gentilucci, TSC's Director of Operations, the new booklet course — The Traffic School Book — is consistent with the title and theme of "Funny in Florida," which is the title of the classroom and internet course as well as TSC's newly released video/DVD home study course. Interspersed throughout the five chapter, 160-page booklet, he reported, are comic illustrations, graphics, and jokes, as well as humorous anecdotes and stories. Emphasizing the importance of comedy in TSC's traffic school, he said:
"We believe the first law of communications is to get someone's attention and the first law of education is retention. If students don't retain the information you provide them, you've failed. Our experience has shown that using comedy as a 'learning tool' in traffic safety education — as opposed to a dry regurgitation of facts, warnings, and statistics — is more effective in getting and keeping students' attention and enabling them to absorb and retain the information."
Citing DHSMV statistics that, in 2005, traffic tickets increased 7.3 percent and traffic crashes went up 6.2 percent, leading to a rise of 8.5 percent in fatalities and 3 percent in injuries, Gentilucci stressed that it is clear that drivers today aren't "getting the message" about safe driving. "If making people laugh is the best means to get their attention, ensure they listen while being taught, and remember what they learned, then it's a 'win-win-win' to promulgate safe driving."
Gentilucci said TSC has also recently introduced a new "Funny in Florida" video/DVD home study course in Florida which makes even more use of the comedy approach blending video effects, computer graphics, and original music. In addition, he pointed out, the instructor on the video provides the lessons while playing a wide variety of characters, including: Leonardo DaVehicle, Dr. Otto Mobile, Morty Motormouth, and Chef Francois Fender Bender. The video was created, written, and performed by an actor and veteran Hollywood screenwriter.
Surveys show over 300,000, or approximately 50%, of Florida traffic school students now opt to take their instruction through home study, Gentilucci said. The booklet course in particular, he emphasized, provides students with much more flexibility than the classroom format. The course can be completed at the student's discretion — when and where they want, in one sitting or up to five reading sessions. It is particularly beneficial for busy people, people who travel, those who are not mobile or those in poor health, he added.
Gentilucci reported that the booklet has five chapters and the total reading time is four hours. At the end of each chapter, students call a toll free number or log onto a TSC Internet site to check into a time verification system and receive reading credit. A short open book quiz is given after each chapter in preparation for the final test. The book course is available through the website, www.TrafficSchoolBook.com or a toll-free telephone number, (800) 998-8533.