CHP Start Smart Class
updated: Feb 05, 2014, 12:42 PM
The California Highway Patrol's Start Smart program is a driver safety education class that targets new and
future licensed teenage drivers between the age of 15 - 19, their parents, and guardians. CHP officers
discuss traffic collision avoidance techniques, collision causational factors, driver/parent responsibilities,
seatbelt usage, etc.
Testimonies are provided by officers who have investigated fatal collisions involving teens, along with the
latest "RED ASPHALT" video which chronicles the aftermath of several teenage driver collisions. The CHP
offers the Start Smart program to help newly and future licensed teen drivers become more aware of the
responsibilities that accompany the privilege of being a licensed California driver.
California teen drivers are found at fault in 66 percent of all fatal collisions they are involved in, although
they represent only 4 percent of the state's licensed drivers. California has the second highest fatality rate
involving drivers between the ages of 15-20, and motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death
for Americans in this age bracket. "This tragic loss of young lives is a concern to us, and we hope this
program can reduce the death toll," stated CHP Lieutenant Mark D'Arelli. Teenagers average twice as many
accidents as adult drivers while driving only half as many miles, making the teen accident rate per mile four
times that of adults. If you are under 18 years of age, your risk of a fatal accident is about 2.5 times that of
the average driver and your risk of an injury accident is three times higher than the average driver.
The next Start Smart class is scheduled for Tuesday, March 04, 2014, at 6 P.M. The class will be held at
Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital located at 5333 Hollister Avenue in the city of Goleta. Teen drivers must be
accompanied by a parent or guardian. The class will be held in the Ashton Education Center. If you would
like to attend, please call the Santa Barbara Area CHP office to sign up at: 967-1234, and ask for officer's
Taulbee or Gutierrez.
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