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CHP Smart Start

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will hold a Smart Start Driving Class for teenage drivers between the ages of 15 to 19 and their parents or guardians on October 23 at 6 p.m. at their Oceanside location.

The Smart Start program is a free driver safety education class that discusses traffic collision avoidance techniques, collision-causing factors, driver and parent responsibilities and seatbelt usage.

In addition, CHP officers will share testimonies about their experiences dealing with fatal collisions involving teens, and why it is so important that parents take time to talk about driving safety with their children.

“It’s the parents’ responsibility to take an active role in talking with their children about driving safely,” said CHP Officer Eric Newbury, who will teach the class.

Newbury went on to say that parents are required to attend because they are accountable to make sure that teen drivers understand what they are facing when they are behind the wheel.

“These teen drivers need to know that when they are behind the wheel, their actions affect everyone out there,” he said.

The two-hour class is the CHP’s way of responding to the fact that most high schools do not offer driver’s education and many students are not introduced to the “other side” of reckless or inexperienced driving.

Newbury said the class also features the newest version of “Red Asphalt,” a video that shows the dangers of reckless driving, which can be a real eye-opener for teens.

The newest edition of “Red Asphalt” deals with how reckless driving directly impacts other people besides the driver, such as parents who “have to deal with the fact that they have to bury their own children,” explained Newbury.

The class also covers information on new driving laws, such as the cell phone law, and helps both parents and teens understand why it is so important to follow the new laws.

Questions from parents and teens are highly encouraged and Newbury hopes to have positive feedback and support from the community.

The Smart Start program will be held at 1888 Oceanside Blvd., Oceanside, CA 92054. To register, call Officer Eric Newbury at (760) 757-0824.

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