Press Release

Josh Ehlers, Commander

Office of Community Outreach & Media Relations

601 North 7th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811​


​Fran Clader

Director of Communications

(916) 843-3310


CHP Offers Free "Start Smart" Teen Driver Education Class

​SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A teenager is killed in a traffic collision every four hours nationwide. That equates to more than 1,870 teenagers killed each year. Another 184,000 teenagers are injured in traffic collisions. These deaths and injuries can be substantially reduced or prevented by eliminating high-risk driving behaviors through education. The California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) "Start Smart" program can help prevent these tragedies.

The Start Smart program focuses on providing comprehensive traffic safety education classes for teenagers and their parents. Revised by the CHP in 2014, Start Smart employs innovative techniques to capture the attention of teenagers and parents, providing a lasting experience. The curriculum includes information on collision statistics, teen driver and passenger behaviors, graduated driver license (GDL) laws, cultural changes in today’s society, and the need for stronger parental involvement in a teenager’s driving experience.

"A driver license comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "Start Smart prepares new drivers and their parents for the challenges that lie ahead. Ultimately, the goal is to save lives by producing safe drivers through education."

Parents and teenagers can sign up for a free Start Smart class by contacting their local CHP office. To locate a CHP office near you, visit and find out how this two-hour class can save a life. Start Smart is taught by CHP officers and promoted within 146 high schools across California. It is offered by 46 traffic courts as an alternative sentencing method for juvenile traffic offenders.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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