CHP to host Start Smart class for teens Thursday

Start Smart classLANCASTER – The California Highway Patrol’s Start Smart program, a free, two-hour interactive driver safety class for teens and their parents, will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, at the CHP Office in Lancaster.

During the Start Smart class, officers and speakers will discuss and illustrate:

  • collision avoidance techniques
  • collision causing elements
  • driver/parent responsibilities, and
  • seat belt restraints.

Testimonials will also be provided by officers who have investigated fatal collisions involving teens, in addition to testimonials from parents whose children have died in car crashes.

The overall goal of the program is to reduce the number of people killed and injured on the state’s roadways through education.

“New drivers lack the experience that is needed on the road,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Through interactive education programs like ‘Start Smart,’ law enforcement is working to influence California’s teen drivers so they will make good choices behind the wheel.”

Teen driver accidentAccording to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, within the CHP’s jurisdiction, from 2006 through 2008, there were 34,086 fatal and injury collisions involving at least one driver between the ages of 15 and 19. These collisions resulted in 895 motorists’ deaths and 53,121 people injured. Statewide statistics show that 88,270 fatal and injury collisions occurred involving at least one teen driver, resulting in 1,488 people killed and 137,307 victims injured.

“It’s important to remember, accidents do happen, but collisions are preventable,” said Commissioner Farrow. “Poor choices behind the wheel of a vehicle can affect the lives of numerous people.”

Parents and teenagers can sign up for the next “Start Smart” class by contacting the Antelope Valley Area CHP office at (661) 948-8541.

This program is supported by a grant awarded by the California Office of Traffic Safety Administration through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.