CHP Offering Free ‘Start Smart’ Class to Teach Teenagers Safe Driving Habits

This is a press release from the California Highway Patrol:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States and a concern the California Highway Patrol (CHP) addresses with its Start Smart program.

The likelihood of a teen being involved in a collision is significantly reduced when high-risk driving behaviors are eliminated. The free Start Smart class can help eliminate these behaviors by providing teens driver education developed specifically to address risky driving behaviors observed every day by CHP officers.

“The intent of the Start Smart program is to provide new drivers with pertinent information that will help in making smart decisions behind the wheel,” said CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley. “The program also reinforces that driving is a great privilege that comes with a

tremendous amount of responsibility.”

Designed for newly licensed teen drivers and their parents, the CHP’s Start Smart program is a two-hour driver safety class that is conducted throughout the state. It uses innovative techniques to capture the attention of teens and parents, providing a lasting impression.

The Start Smart curriculum is based on teen driver and passenger behaviors, California’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) law, cultural changes in today’s society, and the need for stronger parental involvement in a teen’s driving experience. Parents are also reminded of their responsibility to teach their new driver and model good driving behavior.

Parents and teenagers can register for a Start Smart class by contacting their local CHP office. To locate a CHP office near you, visit, and discover how a free two-hour class can save a life. For more information about Start Smart and the GDL program, download the CHP Start Smart mobile application, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

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



  • Now if one could drive a vehicle with a simple smartphone app kids these days would be very good at it.

  • Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death not only for teens, but for people between roughly 12 to 40. Yet we spend very little energy address this issue. Lower speed limits on freeways to 55 would prevent a staggering number of deaths and greatly improve carbon emissions.

    Restricting giant lifted truck to those who can demonstrate a need would make the roads much safer.

    • No, it wouldn’t. These same baloney arguments were made when the double nickel was removed last time. Meanwhile many states are increasing speed limits further.

      Do you have evidence that lifted vehicles are significantly less safe to other road users, or cause a disproportionate number of accidents due to something inherent in their construction, rather than being caused by the people who drive them? Maybe what you really want is to ban driving by people who would want a lifted truck?

      • Yeah, people who drive lifted trucks are known for their courtesy and road manners. Source: 245 miles per day.

        • That’s my point… Trying to ban a type of vehicle because they attract idiots is just as stupid as trying to ban pitbulls.

          • Status symbols 4 those w/'lil dicks

            Not a ban, but a license. or a Motor Carrier Permit. I can drive a semi, with doubles, or triples out of state, but you can’t. I had to train up and test, and demonstrate skills. The funny thing is most of the giant lifted 1 ton 4x4s out there have a driver wearing shorts, and flip flops, and at most carry around a dog for balast. maybe they’re salted down with a stack of empty plastic totes during the busy season.

        • Isn’t there a California regulation that a bumper can not be over 23 inches from the ground? To keep the vehicle from running right over anyone else. That is never cited so lifted trucks themselves are unlikely to be cited.


    Most folks have taken English class in school,yet seem nearly unable to apply it to their writing.

  • Restricting emissions or ticketing trucks with excesssive emissions would be nice too. A-holes think it’s cute when they “roll coal” on someone. One more of the many signs of the decline of western civilization. At least commercial trucks are hauling freight. People wonder why the gov. gets involved, it’s usually a few A-holes who ruin things for everybody!

  • Unless this program actually shut their phone down when they are driving I am not optimistic….

  • I’m wondering if the Placerville office will be doing the Start Smart classes again. My son used to be a guest speaker, as a survivor of a drowsy driving accident (his friend fell asleep at the wheel). When Quinn Cuthberson was in charge of the classes, my son was participating. I’ve tried to contact whoever is in charge now, but don’t seem to be able to connect.

  • Just don’t take this class while driving, ok?

  • How often do you see soccer moms and LEO on the phone in traffic?

  • Fight to get Drivers Ed back into schools!!

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