“Start Smart” – A Driver Safety Education Course Offered by the CHP

January 30, 2013 11:16 am · 15 comments


No parent wants to hear that their teenage son or daughter has been killed in a horrific traffic collision, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is doing their part to make sure you don’t get that news.

The following information is from the Martinez Office of the CHP:

The statistics are frightening. Teen drivers are found at fault in 66% of ALL FATAL collisions that they are involved in, although they only represent 4% of the state’s licensed drivers. The leading cause of DEATH for Americans 15 to 20 years old is motor vehicle collisions. What can a parent do to prevent this horrible tragedy from happening to their teen?

The California Highway Patrol, Contra Costa Office conducts a two hour driver safety education class called Start Smart, which targets new and future licensed teenage drivers 15 through 19 years of age and their parents or legal guardians.

To enroll yourself and your teen in one of the upcoming Start Smart classes contact the California Highway Patrol, Contra Costa Office at 925-646-4980 or visit our office in person at 5001 Blum Road in Martinez.

anon January 30, 2013 at 11:29 AM

I agree it’s good to train teenagers on safe driving but there seems to be some deliberate number manipulation here.

They are found at fault in 66% of all accidents they are INVOLVED IN, not the total number fatal accidents. This means they are at fault slightly more than half the time they are involved in an accident.

This press release makes it sound like there are teenage guided missiles heading for everyone.

GK January 30, 2013 at 11:36 AM

“The statistics are frightening. Teen drivers are found at fault in 66% of ALL FATAL collisions that they are involved in, although they only represent 4% of the state’s licensed drivers.”

This is a poorly worded sentence. The fact that teen drivers are responsible for the majority of fatal traffic accidents in which they are involved has nothing to do with the fact that they only represent 4% of licensed drivers.

Howard K. Mullins III January 30, 2013 at 11:59 AM

If parents taught teenagers responsibility, there would be fewer fatality’s.

Kids will still be kids to take rash actions and dangerous things, no amount of training will keep that from happening. Good driving classes will be a great help as well.

Parents with strong character and accountability will to more to lessen the tragedies than parents who do not adhere to those characteristics.

Parent of a teen January 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Thank you for the info. Just signed my teen up for it.

Lori January 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM

If this was available when my kids were learning to drive they would have been sent there for sure. Mr. Mullins, I think the majority of us parents do teach our kids responsibility at least I know I do and also my friends do as well. Classes like this are an additional tool for parents to take advantage of to help teach driving responsibilities.

jtkatec January 30, 2013 at 12:40 PM

I wonder if there was a comparison to teen driver accidents twenty years ago to today, would there be a change in the percentage?

There used to be driver’s ed in high schools. If there has been a drastic increase in accidents which can be attributed to lack of drivers ed, perhaps schools need to bring this course back

anon January 30, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Maybe they should offer one for seniors.

jtkatec January 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Howard (3), I think you’re just trying to get people riled up. That’s a whole of nonsense you wrote.

YVHS88 January 30, 2013 at 1:32 PM

@anon: They do offer one for senior drivers. Contact your local CHP office for details. Upon completion, the “Senior” driver will be awarded a certificate and many insurance companies offer a discounted rate.

Howard K. Mullins III January 30, 2013 at 1:46 PM

@jtkatec January 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM

I am expressing a personal belief. I have no intention of getting people riled up. Some people may agree, many will not.

Dorothy January 30, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Most parents cannot teach their teens to drive because they can’t properly drive as it is.

By the way, can anyone recommend a really good driving school?

Dragon January 30, 2013 at 3:52 PM

I have long thought that we should have to be re-tested, both written and practical tests, on a periodic basis.

My mother earned her driver’s license more than 50 years ago. Her physical and mental skills are NOT the same as they were back then, nor are cars the same. Too many people learn or develop sloppy habits, forget rules, and just plain don’t have the reaction times they used to have.

Driving a car is using a deadly weapon; there’s absolutely no reason why people shouldn’t be regularly retested on the safe use of that weapon.

Atticus Thraxx January 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Hope they get a good turnout. I’d love to take one of those CHP-EVOC courses. Check out this demo:

Cool huh?

@Dorothy January 31, 2013 at 7:22 AM

Dorothy@11 both of my kids went to Driversity in Concord worked out good for my daughter, my son that’s another story. He passed with flying colors but his trainer asked him if it bothered him to listen to the radio and then proceeded to turn it up. He was also texting a friend while my son was supposed to have been carefully watched while driving. I think no matter where you go you will come across good trainers and bad hopefully you will get one of the good ones. Good Luck.

Dorothy January 31, 2013 at 2:27 PM

@14 – Thanks. They are on my list to call. I don’t intend to call any of them until a certain someone has a valid permit.

By the way, she failed her permit test this morning so has another try at it in 2 weeks.

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