As just about any police officer or traffic safety expert will tell you, teenage drivers are the most at-risk group for having a serious if not fatal traffic collision.

According to the Centers for Disease Control the leading cause of death for teenagers in America is driving collisions.

This knowledge has prompted the California Highway Patrol to embark on a campaign to help educate teen drivers about driving safety. The CHP Start Smart traffic safety program for teenage drivers and their parents is free for anyone who wants to attend and helps remind everyone who gets behind the wheel that risks are high for younger drivers and everything you can do to mitigate those risks.

Since 2005, the Start Smart program has been helping future and newly licensed teenage drivers become aware of the responsibilities that accompany the privilege of being a licensed California driver.

Designed as an educational tool for parents and teenagers in an effort to reduce the number of teenage injuries and deaths resulting from traffic collisions, the program attracts anywhere from 10 to 45 attendees every month that it is given.

“The courts also mandate that minors who have been issued a citation attend a Start Smart class as well,” said Officer Miguel Duarte, public information officer of the Moorpark CHP.