Program for parents and new drivers pays off for everyone involved.
New drivers and their parents are invited to participate in Start Smart, a free program sponsored by the California Highway patrol to educate all drivers and drive home the message that attentive drivers are safe drivers.
According to CHP Officer Michelle Esposito, the program gives a personal overview, from officers in the field who have first-hand knowledge, of the rules of the road.
“We talk about what causes most collisions, what we look for when we’re enforcing the law out there, what to do when they are in a collision, what to do when they are stopped by law enforcement and how to react when they see red lights behind them,” she said.
The session also features a showing of “Red Asphalt,” a film with real-life victims of actual accidents that brings home the seriousness of being behind the wheel of a car.
“A lot of kids see the video in driver education at school and they react differently when they see it with their friends,” Esposito said. “They tend to giggle when they’re with their friends, but they pay a lot more attention and take it seriously when their parents are sitting next to them.”
Other subject covered include the Provisional License law, the consequences of having other youth in the car during that first year and why new cell phone laws came about, along with the importance of paying attention at all times instead of putting on makeup, reading or reaching to change a CD.
Esposito said that even parents tell CHP instructors that they learn something from the sessions.
“The more education you can get regarding driving prior to getting out there on your own, even after you’re out there on your own, makes you a better, safer driver,” she said.
One of the most important things to learn for drivers of all ages is knowing more than one way home, especially when disasters, such as earthquakes, brush fires and floods, wipe out familiar paths.
The next session of Start Smart will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 26 at the CHP offices on The Old Road. Call (661) 294-5540 to register or get further information.