SALINAS, Calif. -

The California Highway Patrol is offering a free driving safety class for teen drivers in Salinas next week.

The two-hour Smart Start class id designed for new and future drivers, ages 15 through 19, and their parents.

CHP officers teach the class, which focuses on preventing and reducing collisions.

It takes place Thursday, July 31 at 6 p.m. at the Monterey Area CHP office, 960 E. Blanco Road, Salinas.

"Our officers tell us one of the most stressful parts of their job is when they have to tell the parents of a teen that their child was killed in an automobile crash," says CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "We are proud to play a role in this educational program to reduce collisions, save teens from injury or death, and keep a parent or family member from receiving heartbreaking news.”

For more information, call the Monterey Area CHP office at 796-2197.