Defensive Driving Training Program for Florida Small and Rural Transit Agencies

The Defensive Driving Training Program for Florida Small and Rural Transit Agencies  was developed in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP), and local Florida transit agencies. This program was produced by the University of South Florida’s (USF) Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR).  The Florida Small and Rural Transit Agency Defensive Driving course is designed to meet the requirements outlined in Rule Chapter 14-90, Florida Administrative Code and the Florida State Management Plan requirements.

The goal of the Defensive Driving Training Program for Florida Small and Rural Transit Agencies course is to train operators about the importance of defensive driving. Specific emphasis is placed on understanding the difference between driving a car and a paratransit vehicle and how different types of terrain and weather impact the maneuverability of a vehicle. Proper application of defensive driving techniques can help decrease traffic violations, lower the risk of accidents or incidents, reduce employee injury and absenteeism, and reduce costs associated with vehicle repair and replacement.

The course is divided into eight modules:

  • Module 1: Course Introduction
  • Module 2: Basics of Defensive Driving
  • Module 3: Rule Chapter 14-90, F.A.C. and Florida State Management Plan
  • Module 4: Getting to Know Your Vehicle
  • Module 5: Hazards and Mitigations
  • Module 6: Accidents and Incidents
  • Module 7: Fitness for Duty and Agency Policies
  • Module 8: Course Summary

Additional topics such as road conditions, roadway design, road hazards, emergency management, pre- and post- trip inspections, road hazards, passenger distractions, and accident report documentation are also included in the modules listed above.

The following items are included within the training program:

  • Instructor’s Guide
  • Participant’s Guide
  • Customizable PowerPoint presentation
  • Pre-test assessment with answers
  • Final exam with answers

This training program may be customized to include agency specific policies, procedures, forms and other documentation.  As an example, if an agency has a specific policy regarding backing up, a slide has been included to address exactly what steps the operators need to take when performing vehicle maneuvers.  It is encouraged to have a vehicle available to conduct onboard training and familiarize the operator with any agency authorized equipment. Suggested topics to be covered during on-board training may include door and lift operations; seat and mirror adjustments; and on-board safety equipment.

 PowerPoint Presentation

Download Instructor’s Guide Download Particpant’s Guide

If you need assistance utilizing or accessing the Florida Small and Rural Transit Agency Defensive Driving Training Program, please contact the Florida RTAP Project team, Stephanie Lewis, or Roberta Yegidis,