Students Across Florida Receive Free Driving Safety Handbooks

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Public-private partnership provides more than 2 million traffic safety books to teens and new drivers at no cost to taxpayers.

Lines at Florida Drivers License offices will be shorter this summer thanks to an award-winning program independently recognized as good public policy.

A pioneering public-private partnership has delivered more than 660,000 Official Florida Driver’s Handbooks to Florida high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors before the start of summer vacation.

The National Safety Commission, a company that also operates online driving-safety courses at, printed and distributed the Driver’s Handbooks to schools and students free of charge. The school distribution effort is part of a larger program in which the National Safety Commission prints and distributes all of Florida’s     2 million Driver’s Handbooks annually, saving taxpayers more than $750,000 each year.

“This program will encourage students to learn potentially life-saving traffic safety information over the summer break, and it’s our hope that students and parents will sharpen their driving skills together,” said Ken Underwood, President of the National Safety Commission. “It will also reduce the number of Floridians visiting Driver’s License offices this summer to request the handbooks, thus reducing lines and improving customer service for everyone.”

Here are some key facts regarding the partnership:

  •     The program dates to 2003, when Underwood first approached the DHSMV contract manager with an idea to pay for the Driver’s Handbooks in exchange for advertising rights.
  •     The innovative concept won the DHSMV a 2004 Davis Productivity Award – a benchmark of good government.
  •     This is the third year the handbooks have been provided to high school students, but the first year that the distribution has included 11th grade students. In previous years, students crowded driver’s license offices throughout Florida during the summer months to get their hands on a handbook or worse yet, never received the official Driver’s Handbook.
  •     In 2005, DHSMV issued a public Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) to all Florida traffic school providers, informing them of the Department’s desire to expand the program and select a private sector partner who could bring an inventive approach to printing the new handbooks.
  •     Though the Department activity solicited open, competitive bids for the public ITN, the National Safety Commission was the only company to submit a proposal.
  •     As part of the contract, the National Safety Commission agreed to print and supply more than 1.3 million Driver’s Handbooks a year to the state, plus up to 750,000 additional handbooks specifically for distribution to high school students each spring.
  •     Since the original contract, the company has printed millions of Official Florida Driver’s Handbooks, Official Florida Motorcycle Handbooks and Official Florida CDL Handbooks – all free of charge to the state. In addition, the company is printing Florida’s first-ever Creole-language Driver’s Handbook, which should be available in the coming weeks.

The result of this innovative program has been both an improved service available to all Florida drivers and a large savings to state government and ultimately taxpayers.

“We are pleased to be a part of this effort to educate young Floridians about traffic safety while relieving a cost burden from Florida taxpayers,” Underwood said. “It goes to show that with original thinking and bold action, government and business can work together to create a more efficient, better informed, and safer-driving Florida.”

Floridians may view or download a copy of the Official Florida Driver’s Handbook online at:

Copies are also available at local Drivers License offices.


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Ryan Banfill
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