SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Within the first two years of driving, a teen’s chance of being involved in a collision is at a lifetime high. To address the problem of motor vehicle collisions as the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) offers an educational program to help recognize and eliminate high-risk driving behaviors.
The two-hour Start Smart class engages newly licensed teen drivers and their parents or guardians, while addressing high risk driving behaviors observed every day by CHP officers. Start Smart is conducted throughout the state at no charge.
“It is the CHP’s focus to save young lives as they embark on their journey behind the wheel,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Many of these traffic deaths are preventable, and we will continue to work toward the goal of eliminating them.”
The Start Smart curriculum is based on collision statistics, teen driver and passenger behaviors, Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws, cultural changes in society, and the need for strong parental involvement. Parents and guardians also learn of their responsibility to teach their new driver and model good driving behavior.
Parents and teenagers can register for a Start Smart class by contacting their local CHP office. Office locations are listed at www.chp.ca.gov. The CHP Start Smart mobile app, available for the Apple and Android platforms, offers more information about Start Smart and the GDL program, and a section of frequently asked questions for teen drivers and their parents.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.