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San Ramon: 'Start Smart' class focuses on teen driver safety

Free, two-hour session set Tuesday evening at Cal High

California Highway Patrol (CHP) personnel are set to lead a class hoping to help young drivers start off on the right foot Tuesday evening at California High School in San Ramon.

The "Start Smart" presentation, hosted by the San Ramon Valley Street Smarts program and sponsored by State Farm Insurance, is a two-hour driver safety education course for new and prospective teen drivers and their parents or guardians.

"Driving can be dangerous for teens," Street Smarts coordinator Dolores Pita said in a statement. "The fatality rate for drivers age 16 to 19 is four times that of drivers age 25 to 69 years. Teens are almost 10 times more likely to be in a crash in their first year on the road. What causes teens and teenage drivers to be at such risk?"

During the "Start Smart" class, CHP officers will discuss key factors associated with crashes involving teen drivers, as well as provide tips for avoiding collisions, outline responsibilities for young drivers and their parents and talk about what precautions they all need to take to remain safe.

Organizers said each teen must attend the event with at least one of their parents or guardians. They also point out that the presentation includes graphic crash images.

The class runs from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday in the theater at California High School, 9870 Broadmoor Drive in San Ramon. Attendees can try a distracted-driver simulator beforehand, beginning at 6:15 p.m.

"Start Smart" is free and open to teens and parents in the San Ramon Valley and beyond. To register, visit the event webpage. For more information, contact Pita at 973-2581 or info@street-smarts.com.

Street Smarts is a partnership among the San Ramon Valley school and fire districts, the town of Danville, city of San Ramon, Contra Costa County and the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs.

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