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Santa Clarita residents are being encouraged to not use their cellphones while driving and the CHP has launched a major effort to crack down on distracted driving

Teen Distracted Driving Program Hosted By California Highway Patrol Newhall

Ed. Note: The following article is a news release provided by the California Highway Patrol.

The California Highway Patrol, including the Newhall Area Office, has partnered for the past four years with Impact Teen Drivers in an effort to decrease the number of teen driver fatalities across the state due to distracted driving.

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Through engaging presentations in schools, the Impact Teen Drivers, or ITD, program reaches thousands of teens and parents each year to show how using a cellular telephone, texting, and other distractions while driving can have fatal consequences.

CHP Newhall also conducts the “Start Smart” program, which is designed to teach safe driving techniques to new drivers, offering the classes for free to Santa Clarita residents.  

Teenagers are considered at most risk for distracted driving, and the CHP and ITD are dedicated to reversing what is a completely preventable crisis.

“Every year in California, more than 800,000 licensed teenage drivers are involved in a collision. Unfortunately, hundreds of those collisions result in death,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Working with Impact Teen Drivers, our goal is to protect these inexperienced drivers through education. The more a driver knows, the more they can do to prevent these collisions.”

The fatality rate for drivers ages 16 to 19, based on miles driven, is three times higher than for drivers ages 20 to 69, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Related Story: DUI Checkpoint To Be Conducted By California Highway Patrol Newhall


In an effort to lower this statistic, the ITD program’s message is simple: focus on the road ahead and get to where you are going safely.

“Distracted driving is the traffic safety challenge of our generation,” said Dr. Kelly Browning, executive director of ITD. “Just as reducing driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and increasing seatbelt use required a strong combination of education and enforcement to effect culture change, so too will stopping the current epidemic of distracted driving. We focus on beginning drivers both because they are at the greatest risk, and because they are just beginning to develop their driving habits.”

The grant-funded Teen Distracted Drivers Education and Enforcement V campaign consists of an education component, as well as teen distracted driver enforcement operations to be conducted throughout the state until Sept. 30, 2016.

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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Teen Distracted Driving Program Hosted By California Highway Patrol Newhall

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