Class teaches teen to drive smart

Start Smart classes being offered for free.

POSTED: 04:38 PM PDT Jul 16, 2013    UPDATED: 08:59 PM PDT Jul 16, 2013 
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VENTURA, Calif. -

California Highway Patrol and the Trauma Center at the Ventura County Medical Center work together to teach teens to drive safely. The Start Smart program is a  driver safety education class offered monthly for free. The CHP says the leading cause of death for American teens is car crashes.

Susan and Amnon Zaks are much too familiar with this statistic. It has been six years since they lost their son, 24-year-old Matan, in a high-speed crash on the 126, near Kimball Road. The young driver was 1 mile away from the family's home in Ventura.

The couple now volunteer their time as keynote speakers for Start Smart classes. They say their goal is to warn teens about driving with distractions.

The next Start Smart class will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Ventura County Medical Center on July 25. For more information call Elena at 805-652-5904 or Officer Steve Reid at 805-477-4100.