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 causation 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. Upcoming Start Smart classes are scheduled for Wednesday May 18, 2011 at 6:30 PM, Wednesday June 22, 2011 at 6:30 PM, and Wednesday July 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM at the Santa Barbara CHP office, 6465 Calle Real, Goleta, CA 93117. Reservations are required; call the Santa Barbara Area CHP office to sign up at: 805-967-1234.
California teen drivers are found at fault in 66% of all fatal collisions that they are involved in, although they represent only 4% 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 Captain Jeff Sgobba. 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. Teen drivers MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian.