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CHP working to make young drivers smarter
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New drivers need to start smart.

That’s according to officers of the California Highway Patrol in Stockton. They’re offering a free two-hour course called Start Smart.

This behind-the-wheel driver safety training targets future licensed motorists between the ages 15 to 19.

 Last week, driver education students at East Union High received a mini lesson on the Start Smart program compliments of CHP officer Angel Arceo.

A few weeks ago, the public information officer based out of the Stockton area was in Manteca working with students in the Regional Occupational Program’s Careers in Law Enforcement.

“(Arceo) also brought a state-of-the-art CHP patrol car with the latest in technology,” East Union driver education teacher Anthony Liberato said on Friday.

He noted that the program, according to Arceo, was initiated by an officer who was disturbed by the number of teens killed on the state’s roads and highways.

According to CHP website (, teen drivers may represent 4 percent of the state’s licensed drivers but are found at fault in 66 percent of all fatal collisions that they’re involved in.

The leading cause of death among Americans ages 15 to 20 is motor vehicle collisions.

The Start Smart program also involves parents or guardians. They’re the ones who set the example, whether it’s talking on their cell phones, running red lights or speeding.

CHP offers this free two-hour course at the Stockton headquarters, 3330 N. Ad Art Road, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and should register in advance.

In addition, many insurance companies provide tips and the tools aimed at teen motorists, including DVDs and websites.

For more information, call the CHP at 209-943-8666.