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Tips from CHiPs: CHP offers driver education programs 

Ken Antonetti, author of Tips from CHiPs, is an officer with the California Highway Patrol based out of Coalinga.

Ken Antonetti, author of Tips from CHiPs, is an officer with the California Highway Patrol based out of Coalinga.

–Two of the most effective ways to promote traffic safety is through enforcement and education of motorists. Everyone is familiar with the enforcement aspect. If you break any traffic law while driving, you may get pulled over and receive a ticket. Because of this, many people are mindful of their driving so they won’t suffer the consequences that follow a traffic citation. The education aspect is not as widely known.

The California Highway Patrol offers several programs to the public which encompass newer driver safety, distracted driving, older driver safety, and child restraint safety. The following are some of the most popular and effective driver safety programs available:

1. Age Well, Drive Smart. This program was implemented by the California Highway Patrol in 2011 and is specifically designed to provide driving tips for older drivers to drive safer and longer.
2. Teen Impact Driver. What’s the leading cause of death for teens in America? Many people will say drugs, guns, gang violence, cancer, among many others. The fact of the matter is traffic collisions are the #1 killer of teenagers in America, and many of these death causing collisions are due to some form of distraction. The Teen Impact Driver program was created to make teenagers more aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Please visit www.whatdoyouconsiderlethal.com for more information.
3. Start Smart. The Start Smart program is geared towards new drivers aged 15-19. It contains several tips regarding driving habits, and does show what can happen if you partake in dangerous activities while driving. If you or someone you know is going to attend this program, just know this program does contain extremely graphic images. Also, parents are encouraged to attend this class with their new drivers.
4. Child Seat Check. Children are our most precious cargo. Are you sure your child is properly restrained? If not, we can help! The California Highway Patrol has several technicians who are certified to ensure your child’s car seat is installed properly, and if it isn’t, we will show you how to properly install it before you leave.

All of these programs have loads of beneficial information and are available to anyone who is interested. Contact a CHP office near you to get enrolled in any of these classes or to schedule a car seat inspection. Be sure to do your part to avoid traffic related injuries and deaths. Always follow the speed limit, keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you, never drink and drive, always wear your seatbelt and make sure all your passengers are properly restrained.

Any questions for CHP can be sent by mail, email, or in person. The Coalinga CHP office is located at 125 South Sixth St., Coalinga, CA 93210. Please make it attention to Officer Ken Antonetti. My email address is kantonetti@chp.ca.gov. If you would rather ask a question in person, feel free to drop by our office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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