Start Smart Program Is Free Class To Help Teens Learn To Drive

Kim Wonderley
April 07, 2019 - 5:00 am

Is your teenager close to driving age? As a parent, this can be both an exciting but worrying time as well. In this week's Road Report, Kim Wonderley takes a look at a free California Highway Patrol program that is designed to help you and your teenager.

Unfortunately the statistics about teen driving don't lie. Teenagers are at their highest risk of an accident during their first two years of driving, and car crashes are the top killer of teens. So, this is a program that's very much needed. 

It's called Start Smart and it's a free two-hour safety class for teens 15-19 years old. It's open to licensed and soon-to-be-licensed drivers and their parents or guardians.

In the Start Smart class, highway patrol officers emphasize the responsibility of a licensed driver by tackling topics like distracted driving, DUI, and excessive speed. Some of these points are driven home by using graphic imagery from real accidents, so be forewarned.

Related: How To Avoid The Long Lines At The DMV

The officers will also discuss techniques for avoiding accidents, the common causes of collisions and the importance of properly using seatbelts. 

A parent or guardian is requited to accompany the teen to the class. 

Part of the program will address the responsibilities of parents for their newly minted driver. A reminder, those provisional drivers license permits are offered to teens that are 15 years and 6 months of age.

The CHP officer will go over all the requirements and restrictions in the licensing process.

These Start Smart classes are free by reservation and available all over the Bay Area. The next ones scheduled are on this Tuesday in Santa Rosa, Thursday in San Jose and next Saturday in Larkspur. Contact your local CHP office for the next class Start Smart class near you.