STK Key Objectives


Your teen has been learning to drive ever since he/she was in a forward facing seat. Research clearly shows that teens will mimic their parents’ driving behaviors. Regardless of whether the parent teaches them to drive.

Parents are the most important role model for teen drivers. Teens will repeat the driving behaviors they’ve observed. If a parent speeds, texts or talks on the phone while they drive, or drives intoxicated, the likelihood is that their teen will do the same.

Being a positive role model by changing bad driving behaviors is a powerful example that can influence your teen to change as well.

  • Wear Your Seatbelt
  • Obey the Speed Limit—Nearly 40% of all fatal teen crashes are caused by speeding*
  • Drive Sober
  • Remain Calm
  • Avoid Distractions
  • Shut Off the Cell Phone

* Sources: Allstate Foundation (

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”   -Anonymous

Share the Keys role models

NJ Graduated Driver License (GDL)

  • Wear Your Seatbelt
  • Obey the Speed Limit
  • Avoid Distractions
  • Shut off the Cell Phone
  • Drive Sober
  • Remain Calm


The Graduated Driver License (GDL) is a three-stage licensing program for first-time drivers. 

Stage 1: Permit at 16 (6 hrs. BTW) or 17 (Practice for at least 6 months):
In the first stage, teens can obtain a permit at age 16 with the required six-hours of  behind-the-wheel instruction.  At age 17, they can obtain their permit without the behind-the-wheel training.  Teens entering the system at 16 will hold their  permit for a full year.  The minimal practice period for the permit stage is six-months.

Stage 2: Probationary License at 17 (Practice for at least 12 months):
The second stage is the probationary license. A teen may obtain a probationary license at the minimal age of 17.  They must hold their probationary license for a minimum of 12 months before becoming eligible for a basic non-restricted license.

Stage 3: Basic Unrestricted License at 18
The last stage is the basic unrestricted license, after holding their probationary license for a year, a driver may obtain their basic license at the minimal age of 18. To obtain a basic license, a probationary license holder must go back to the MVC to apply for the basic license.

*The probationary license will not automatically turn into a basic license.

Share the Keys GDL License

NJ Graduated Driver License (GDL)

  • Stage 1: Permit at 16 (6hrs. BTW) or 17
    • Practice for at least 6 months
  • Stage 2: Probationary License at 17
    • Practice for at least 12 months
  • Stage 3: Basic, Unrestricted Licence at 18


Since crash risks decreases dramatically with driving experience, it is crucial that parents find the time to fit in at least one-hour per week for practice driving with their teen driver.

Parents can be creative when thinking about how to incorporate practice driving into their busy schedules. Parents may be surprised by how by how willing their teen is to drive to places like the grocery store. New drives are usually enthusiastic about any opportunity to get behind-the-wheel.

Parents are also encouraged to include difficult driving situations such as driving at night, on a highway, and during inclement weather in their teens practice driving. A teens’ first experience with these conditions should be supervised.

Share the Keys Practice Driving

Opportunities for Practice Driving

  • Shopping Trips
  • Activities
  • Family Outings
  • Errands


To most effectively enforce the GDL we recommend parents set Clear Restrictions and are Consistent with rules and Consequences.  It’s also a good  idea to gradually introduce privileges based on a merit system.

Example of Merit System:

During the first three months of licensure,  no  passengers are allowed in the vehicle.  Provided  the teen has complied to the GDL  restrictions and house rules (filling up the gas tank etc), they can  begin carrying one passenger.  Parents can gradually introduce later curfews and other privileges such as highway driving as incentives to  comply with the law and the house rules (make them earn it).

It is important for parents to be consistent with the consequences they set and to follow through with them.  If a parent tells their teen they will lose the keys for three days/a week or a month they’ll have to Follow Through. Teens, whose parents are clear and consistent, are less likely to break the rules and/or be involved in a crash.  Just like adults, teens respect clear and consistent rules.

Share the Keys Parents

Enforcing GDL Restrictions at Home

  • Clear Restrictions
  • Reward
  • Consequence
  • Follow Through
  • Consistency


Access Makes a Difference!

The CHOP research study found that crash risk for teens with shared access, teens that have to request permission to use the car, is half of  that of those who have full unrestricted access to the vehicle.

Teens with shared access are also 85% less likely to speed and Nearly 5% less likely to use a cell phone at least sometime while driving.

Teens with primary access are more than twice as likely to report having been in a crash than those who share a car.


  • Share the Keys finds that perfect balance between teaching teens safe driving habits while reminding parents driving education doesn’t stop once you hand them the keys. The continued responsibility of educating teen drivers still rests with involved parents.

    Patrolman Craig Hoover East Brunswick Police Department
  • The statistics for teen crashes in New Jersey are staggering.  Share the Keys bridges the gap by imparting the serious nature of responsible driving to teens while reminding parents that driving education doesn’t stop once you hand them the keys.

    Patrolman Craig Hoover East Brunswick Police Department
  • As a law enforcement officer instructing the Share the Keys program, I see considerable value in reaching young drivers, and their parents, as the new driver is  at the highest risk for becoming involved in a crash in the first two years of their driving experience.  The resources and supportive data provided during the 90 minute presentation, give the audience the tools they need to successfully adopt safe driving behaviors.  

    Sergeant Brian Hopely Supervisor, Traffic Safety Unit | Ocean City Police Department
  • "Share the Keys" is one of the most comprehensive training program for parents that are about to have a new teen driver.

    Robert Clarke Traffic Safety Specialist | South Jersey Traffic Planning Organization
  • From a teacher's perspective...Research is telling us STK is a proven winner for parents (involvement lessens crashes). STK is also an effective GDL teaching tool for new driver education teachers and law enforcement.  Parents depend on driver education teachers to be a resource for the GDL. STK provides clarity for safe teen driving behaviors.

    Maureen Nussman VP Health, NJAHPERD | NJ Teen Safe Driving Coalition
  • In my opinion the 'Share the Keys' program will save lives of teen drivers by educating not only teen drivers themselves, but just as importantly the parents and guardians who have the greatest impact on enforcing safe driving on a daily basis. The program emphasizes parents and guardians setting good examples for their children as well as encouraging them to have open dialogue and taking responsibility for their teenagers when they hand them a set of keys.

    Matt Wolf Phys-Ed, Driver-Ed Teacher | Middle Township High School NJ.
  • The SHARE THE KEYS program could very well be the most IMPORTANT assembly program attended by high school students and their parents.

    Mike Sandor Supervisor of Health, Physical Education & Driver Safety | Summit High School
  • Share the Keys plays an important part in educating new drivers and their parents on how to be a safe driver.  It focuses on, developing proper driving practices and close parental involvement. After all, there is nothing more important than keeping our teens alive.

    Patrolman Craig Hoover East Brunswick Police Department
  • The Share the Keys program has been incredibly successful as well as helpful to all who have attended. The feedback from the parents as well as the new drivers has been extremely positive. EVERY new driver should attend.

    Pfc. Thomas A. Di Tullio Washington Twp Police Department | School Resource Officer