The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is helping to educate teenaged drivers and their parents regarding safe driving practices through its Start Smart Program.  The Start Smart Program is a collaboration between the CHP, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), parents and their teenage drivers.  Its goals include: (1) helping younger drivers, their parents and guardians understand the responsibilities associated with driving motor vehicles; (2) showing how poor driving choices can effect the lives of many individuals; (3) helping to reduce teen-related injuries and deaths related to motor vehicle collisions.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], the leading cause of death for persons between the ages of 15 and 20 is motor vehicle collisions.  Some of the causes of motor vehicle collisions associated with teenage drivers include: driving at an unsafe speed, making an unsafe lane change, failure to yield the right-of- way to other drivers, following other vehicles too closely (tailgating), inattention and distracted driving (cellular telephone use, text messaging, et cetera).

A Start Smart driver safety class will be held Wednesday, April 10th, 2013, at 3:00 P. M.  The location of this class is 50 Douglas Drive, Suite 200, in Martinez. The class is open to younger drivers, their parents and guardians, and other persons interested in knowing about safe driving practices.  Each person must register to attend the class.  For more information and to register for the class, interested persons may call the CHP’s Oakland Office at (510) 450-3821, Monday through Friday, 8:00 A. M. to 5:00 P. M.