To address the problem of vehicle collisions as the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, the California Highway Patrol offers a free educational program called “Start Smart” to help recognize and eliminate high-risk teen driving behaviors.
The two-hour 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.
Within the first two years of driving, a teen’s chance of being involved in a collision is at a lifetime high.
“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 program’s curriculum is based on collision statistics, teen driver and passenger behaviors, Graduated Driver License 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.
Santa Clarita Valley parents and teenagers can register for a “Start Smart” class by contacting the Newhall Area CHP office. The phone is 661-294-5540.
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.