July 30, 2008
Contact: Lucas Hamilton
MONTANA STATE AUDITOR'S OFFICE LAUNCHES DRIVER'S ED CLASSROOM TRAINING
All schools in Montana offering driver's education will receive auto insurance training program
State Auditor John Morrison today announced that his office has launched a new auto insurance training program that will provide teen drivers with critical information as they embark upon their driving futures. The program called "The Road to Understanding Auto Insurance" is free to high school instructors that teach driver's education courses and will inform high school students about the basics of auto coverage. The program is being rolled-out to more than 160 high schools across the state this week.
"We recognize the importance of providing educators with the tools they need to instruct first-time drivers about the basics of auto insurance," said Morrison. "Let's face it, auto insurance quickly gets complicated. Understanding the requirements of Montana law and then choosing the correct auto insurance coverage can be a confusing process. Our goal is to help students become more informed consumers. With so many different insurance terms like, liability limits; comprehensive; collision; deductibles and medical coverages, it would be easy for first-time drivers to make simple mistakes that could have drastic financial consequences."
The Road to Understanding Auto Insurance combines a PowerPoint presentation with a teacher's guide and is provided to schools in CD format. The program allows teachers the flexibility to present the program as it best fits into their current classroom curriculum.
"For years, schools from Helena and outlying areas have invited staff from the State Auditor's Office to present this topic to driver's ed students," said Morrison. "The popularity of the presentation has been overwhelming and schools across the state began requesting it. Because budget constraints restrict our ability to travel to all 160 schools to put on this training, we developed this program so that driver's ed instructors could access this same information and present it to their students."
In addition to the CD format, the presentation will be made available online by the Office of Public Instruction at www.opi.mt.gov/drivered. The program is optional and is not required as part of the official curriculum of the Montana driver's education program. For additional copies of the training program, educators can contact the Montana State Auditor's Office at 1-800-332-6148.
"Learning to drive is a serious matter. While it's important to provide students with a basic understanding of auto insurance, it is perhaps more important to emphasize safety," said Morrison. "Safety needs to be their number one priority. The best insurance policy in the world won't protect our students from serious injury or death. They need to be safe, be careful and be aware -- and ultimately try to prevent accidents in the first place."
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