(949) 250-7001

Making Orange County and Los Angeles County a better place - one safe driver at a time!

Memorial Day Accident Takes 5 Irvine Teens’ Lives

Memorial Day is a day set aside for Americans to remember the sacrifice of the men and women in our military throughout history who have given their lives while fighting for our freedom. For those who have lost loved ones in battle, or for those who have served our are serving in our Armed Forces, Memorial Day is a very sacred day. Many of us see it as a day off from work and school, a day to get together with family and friends, have a BBQ, relax, and so on.

But for four Irvine families, Memorial Day will never be the same again. From now on, Memorial Day will represent the day they lost their precious loved ones – just young teenagers, with their whole lives ahead of them – in a horrible, tragic car accident.

Five Irvine teenagers, three girls and two boys, four of them 17 and one 16 years old, were driving down Jamboree Road Monday evening when somehow their car, a late-model Infiniti, veered into the center divider and struck a tree. The car was split in two, four of the five teens were ejected from the car, and the other was partially ejected. Two of the girls were sisters – their parents’ only children.

Police believe high speed played a part in the accident. The speed limit on that particular stretch of Jamboree Road (which happens to be downhill) is 55 MPH. It is unknown yet whether alcohol was a factor.

Safety 1st Driving School grieves with the families and friends of these Irvine teens. We have dedicated our lives to teaching and modeling safety behind the wheel, and we hope and pray an accident of this magnitude never happens again.

It is so often reported that the #1 killer of American teenagers is driving. We try to focus our education and instruction on the positive, so our goal is to help teens become safe, skilled, defensive drivers who respect the road, respect other drivers, respect their passengers, and respect themselves. We are not implying the driver in this accident was unskilled or did not respect the road; however, something happened to end these kids’ lives WAY too soon – something that could have been avoided.

We are firm believers that parents need to be actively involved in their teenagers’ lives, settling realistic standards and boundaries for them – and that most definitely applies to their driving. It takes time and experience to learn how to drive safely and skillfully, to anticipate what other drivers may do, to learn to maneuver their automobile in different weather conditions, through and around traffic, on the freeways, at night, and so on. New drivers lack most of those skills (learned on-the-job, so to speak), and teens often lack the mental capacity to fully appreciate the consequences of their actions, AND are more likely to take risks behind the wheel – all of which makes for a dangerous combination.

At Safety 1st, we encourage parents to be involved in their teen’s driver education. We foster open communication throughout their student’s time with us, we have a specialized grading system whereby each week we discuss the student’s strengths and weaknesses with the parents so they will know what to focus on in their practice driving time. We encourage parents to drive with their kids, so they know which areas need improvement, and we also ask parents to consider limiting driving time and car access to their newly licensed teenager. Some ideas for those limitations include:

  • no nighttime driving
  • no driving with friends
  • no freeway driving
  • and other limitations as you find appropriate. For example:

If your teenager tends to fiddle with her cell phone or the car radio while driving, set some rules regarding cell phone and radio use.

If your teenager seems overconfident or risky behind the wheel, restrict his driving until he can demonstrate a healthier respect for the road.

If your teenager speeds, tailgates, or is just not skilled enough yet, so that you lack confidence in his or her abilities, act accordingly.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. While your child is a minor, YOU control the car keys. Don’t put your kids – or other people – in harm’s way unnecessarily.

As we grieve over these precious lives lost, we hope some good can eventually come from this tragedy. We hope that all the parents and teenagers in Irvine and all of Orange County will take this teenage driving “epidemic” seriously. Let’s give our teenagers the tools, encouragement, and boundaries they need to be safe behind the wheel and lower these awful statistics – starting now!

Step 1. Complete our online driver’s education course

Register for our online driver education course. After you complete the required chapters and tests, we will then send you the DMV Certificate of Completion (DL387) that you can take to the DMV when you are ready to take the written test for your learner’s permit.

Our online driver ed course is available to all California residents. You can take our course at your own pace, in your own home in your own time.

Step 2. Study for the DMV written test

You will need to study for the DMV written permit test by reading through the DMV California Driver Handbook. It will benefit you if you take your time and study the handbook so you are comfortable with the information that will be on the test.

Take your time, you don’t want to have to go back to retake the test.

Step 3. Make an appointment at the DMV to take the written exam

It is important that you call ahead of time and schedule an appointment at the local DMV so you can go in and take the written test.

The lines at the DMV are usually very long so you don’t want to waste your time waiting in line. Make sure that you are well prepared for your appointment.

Most DMV’s are open Mondays through Fridays until 5 pm; Some are also open on Saturdays for a few hours so call ahead of time and see which date and times are best for you.

Step 4. Bring necessary documents to the DMV office

  • Complete the application form DL 44, remember the DMV always requires An original to be submitted. Copies will not be accepted in any form, so make sure you have exactly what you need. You can get this form from your local DMV.
  • Have your parents or guardians sign the application form DL 44.
  • Give your right thumbprint.
  • Have your picture taken.
  • Provide your social security #
  • Verify your birth date and legal residence
  • Submit the proper form(s) for Driver Education and/or Driver Training (see below for details)
  • Pay the $28.00 application fee (This fee entitles you to three exams of any type within the 12-month period and pays for both the instruction permit and the driver license. If all requirements are not met within the 12-month period, the application becomes void and all steps must be completed again.)
  • Pass a vision exam, if you need glasses, wear them.
  • Pass a written test, there are 46 questions on the test.
  • You need a passing score of at least 39 correct answers.
  • You have three chances to pass the test. If you fail, you must wait 7 days before taking it again.


Driver Education and Driver Training Form Requirements:

If you are 15  years of age, you will need to bring with you:

  • Form DL 356 or OL 237 (Completion of Driver Education) with form DL 391 (Driver Training Enrollment ) if your school has a contract with a driving school.


  • Form DL 356 or forms OL 237 and OL 238 (Completion of both Driver Education and Driver Training)


  • Submit form DL 391 or OL 239 (Simultaneous Enrollment in Driver Education and Driver Training)


If you are over 15 but under 18 years of age, you will need to submit:

  • Form DL 356 or OL 237 (Completion of Driver Education)


  • Form DL 391 or OL 239 (Simultaneous Enrollment in Driver Education and Driver Training)


If you are over 17  but under 18 years of age, you may get your permit without the driver education and driver training certificates however, you will not be able to take the driving test until you turn 18.

Once you pass your written test, you will be issued a provisional permit. You can be issued a permit at age 15, but you cannot take the driving test or be issued a driver’s license until you are 16 years of age.

A parent, guardian, spouse, or adult 25 years of age or older, who has a valid California driver’s license, must be with you when you drive. They must sit in a position that allows them to take control of the vehicle, if necessary. It is illegal for you to drive alone at any time.

Before being eligible to take the driving test you must:

  • Be 16 years old
  • Have had your permit for a minimum of six months
  • Have completed driver education
  • Have completed 6 hours of professional driver training
  • Have completed 50 hours of practice with an adult 25 years or older. The adult must have a valid California driver’s license and certify to the 50 hours of practice. At least 10 of the 50 hours must have been done at night.


If driver education and driver training were taken in a state other than California, DMV will accept either a Secondary Schools Other Than California Schools form DL 33 completed by the out-of-state school or a letter on the out-of-state school’s stationery signed by a school official stating that the courses are equivalent to California’s requirements. Instructional permits issued by another state are not acceptable

Step 5. Complete behind the wheel training

When you pass the written exam:

  • You are required to take your first 2 hours of behind the wheel training with a professional driving instructor.
  •  You may start behind the wheel training with your parent/guardian or other licensed drivers who are 25 years of age or older.
  •  You must further complete four (4) more hours of driving school instruction.
  • Complete fifty (50) additional hours of behind the wheel training with a parent/guardian or any other adult who is 25 years old or older. The adult must have a valid California driver license and certify that you’ve had the 50 hours of practice. It is required that 10 of the 50 hours of training is done in the evening.

Step 6. Take the driving test at the DMV

To be eligible to take your driving test you must:

  • Be 16 years old
  • Have had your permit for a minimum of six months
  • Have completed a driver education course
  • Have completed 6 hours of professional driver training
  • Have completed 50 hours of practice with an adult who is 25 years or older. The adult must have a valid California driver license and certify to the 50 hours of practice. At least 10 of the 50 hours must have been done at night.
  • You will also need to show registration and proof of insurance for the vehicle you will be taking your drive test in.
  •  If you fail your drive test, you must wait two weeks before you can take the test again. You have three chances to pass.
    • Driving (behind-the-wheel) retest fee is $6.00.
    • Motorcycle driving (behind-the-wheel) retest fee $6.00.


After you pass your drive test you will be issued an interim license valid for 60 days until you receive your new photo license in the mail. Double-check your address before you leave DMV and tell the DMV representative if you have moved or if your address is incorrect.

If you have not received your license after 60 days, call (916) 657-7790 and they can check on the status for you. Have your interim license with you to provide information when requested.

Step 7. Receive provisional license upon passing the driving test

After you pass the Driving Test, you will be issued a provisional license. Your license will have the following restrictions for the next year: During the first 12 months, you are licensed to drive you must be accompanied by a driver 25 years of age or older if you drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. or if you have passengers under the age of 20 in the car at any time.

Persons under 18 may not be employed to drive a motor vehicle. When you become 18, the provisional part of your license ends. You may continue to drive as an adult using your photo license, which will expire on your 5th birthday after the date you applied.