Frequently Asked Questions
Share the Keys is intended for parents/guardians and their teen drivers to help them understand and leverage the benefits of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system, New Jersey’s three-stage licensing program for novice drivers. While the program is beneficial throughout the three stages of licensure, parents and teens experience the greatest benefit when participating prior to or during the driving permit phase. It provides valuable information, tools and resources that support the development of safe driving habits for life.
Parents are an essential part of the Share the Keys program, which was designed to increase understanding about teen driver safety and encourage their active involvement and support of the GDL.
A Share the Keys presentation is approximately 60 to 90 minutes. Since the format is interactive, the overall length of the program varies by the size of the audience and amount of participation. On average, it takes 75 minutes to present. However, with larger audiences and more interaction, it may last 90 minutes. This does not include the time to set up, register and seat participants.
Presentations are typically held in the evening. Most programs begin between 6:30/7:00 p.m. and conclude by 8/8:30 p.m. Facilitators remain after the program to answer questions and talk with participants.
Many schools and communities conduct Share the Keys up to four times a year. Some schools require students to participate with a parent or guardian as a pre-requisite for parking on school property. In that case, schools offer at least two sessions on separate dates to accommodate family schedules.
There is no cost to host Share the Keys in your community. The program materials are free and NJM will also provide a member of its Consumer Safety staff to present the program. The only thing you need to do is to schedule the program, provide the venue and promote the event. Program materials include:
There are many ways to effectively and efficiently promote the program. If this is your first time offering Share the Keys, you may want to send a letter to parents explaining the program and why it’s important for them and their students to attend. We will provide a template letter for you to send to parents and a flier to promote the event. Schools also publicize the program during morning announcements, post an announcement on the home page of their website and/or send an email from the principal to parents. Many schools also partner with local businesses, associations and other groups to help support the program. Partners are able to promote their own business by donating gift cards or coupons for door prizes to encourage and reward participation. Examples of potential partners include driving schools, car washes, oil change services, auto clubs, popular restaurants, coffee shops and gas stations.
The most effective way to increase program participation is by making it a requirement for students seeking on-campus parking privileges. Some schools require students in driver education classes to attend to receive their “blue cards” (the card they receive after passing the written driver knowledge test that allows them to obtain a learner’s permit). Other schools boost participation by holding drawings for preferred parking spots, prom tickets and other incentives such as gift cards and/or certificates.
The surveys parents are asked to complete while attending a presentation are used by Kean University to determine program effectiveness. Kean uses the contact information to conduct a voluntary survey 3 to 6 months after the program to assess how families are using what they learned and how it impacted their teen drivers’ safety. NJM provides this information to Kean University exclusively for research purposes. Per Kean’s Institutional Review Board guidelines, all personal information provided by parents is protected and may only be used for conducting research.
Members of NJM's Consumer Safety department facilitate Share the Keys with members of the community such as safety advocates, teachers, law enforcement officials and parents who co-facilitate the program. Facilitators play two important roles in the Share the Keys program. They act as advocates to bring the program to schools and communities, and they present the orientation with NJM. Facilitators help parents and teens understand the Graduated Drivers Licensing process, the risks for novice drivers and how to reduce those risks.
During the presentation, facilitators engage parents and teens by providing information, sharing their experiences (many facilitators are parents) and offering resources for parents to help their teens develop safe driving skills for life.
If you are interested in becoming a facilitator, register for an upcoming training program by clicking here.
Facilitator training is an engaging and interactive workshop that provides participants with the tools and resources to effectively deliver and administer a successful Share the Keys orientation. Training workshops are conducted throughout the state and include a comprehensive review of the research and theories used to build the program’s evidence-based content and delivery style. All participants who successfully complete the training become certified Share the Keys facilitators. Professional development credits — Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will also be provided when applicable.
Yes! Becoming a Share the Keys facilitator is fun, engaging and free. It’s also an exciting way to give back to your community and help make it safer. To support our facilitators, we provide a comprehensive one-day training program which includes mentoring, resources and professional development credits. If you are interested in becoming a facilitator, register for an upcoming training program here.
If you have additional questions about Share the Keys, contact us! We look forward to hearing from you and working with you to bring the program to your school and/or community.