Placerville California Highway Patrol is reaching out to the community through programs in an attempt to educate drivers — especially teenagers — about dangers on the road.
On April 26 at 6 p.m., the three-hour Start Smart program, targeted at both students and parents, will be held at the CHP office in Placerville, Officer Dan Stark said.
“The leading cause of death in 14 to 25 year olds is auto accidents,” Stark said. Using video games and the “immortality complex” as a backdrop, Stark will show students that crashes are not something that “happens to somebody else.”
The lecture is tailored to the area, with Stark including fatal accidents in which he took part of the investigation to show what can happen to careless drivers. He will also bring in other officers, so that the students can “learn from our experiences,” Stark said.
The videos and visuals will teach attendees about such topics as collision avoidance, driving in different types of weather and animals on the road. “It’s crammed with information,” Stark said.
The program, which has had “nothing but positive reviews by attendees,” Stark said, will reward the class with a certificate of completion. Of interest to the parents, Stark said some insurance companies will give discounted rates, some “sizable,” to those students who have completed the course.
The program has no cost, with “the only restriction being how many people I can safely fit in the room,” Stark said, but he cautions to call ahead of time. Those interested can contact Officer Dan Stark at 530-622-1110 for more information. A repeat of the program is tentatively scheduled for May 17.
Another program aimed at high school students concerning distracted driving, part of the Impact Teen Drivers program, will be held by the CHP at El Dorado High School on May 2 at 6 p.m.
Distracted driving is a “huge issue,” Stark said, noting that research has shown that about 75 percent of teen deaths while driving are not alcohol-related.
“(Distracted driving) is more prevalent today with cell phones and texting,” Stark said. “Additionally, we need to focus not just on teens, but all ages.”
The program, which was created in coordination with other organizations such as the California Highway Patrolmen and the California Teachers Association, will teach students about the effects of distracted driving, especially while texting. It will also be “tweaked for this area,” to try to personalize it to residents of the county.
To reserve a seat at the program, contact El Dorado High School at 530-622-3634.
Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @CMayerMtDemo.