Chip Sheehan worked in the U.S. Secret Service for nearly 30 years - under five presidents - as a driving instructor. Now retired, he's taken his training and applied it to young drivers with Smart Streets of Maryland. (Jon Sham/Baltimore Sun video)

Chip Sheehan has never been scared while driving in a car.

He's chauffeured foreign nationals and world leaders throughout the country as a member of the Secret Service.

He's trained drivers for Presidents Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama how to operate the Presidential limousine, commonly referred to as "the Beast," at high speeds.

Now, he jumps into cars with teenagers learning how to drive throughout Baltimore, Carroll, and Howard counties.

Despite the differences in Sheehan's experiences, he says the goal of each has always been the same.

"Whether we're taking someone's child out or a world leader, you want to make sure it's done safely," he said.

Sheehan, a retired Secret Service driving instructor, is now the President of Street Smarts of Maryland, a local driver's education program based in Howard County.

Street Smarts is offered at 12 high schools in the region, including Century, Liberty and South Carroll high schools in Carroll County.

The Buffalo native started Street Smarts six years ago. The company consists of more than 30 current and former law enforcement agents who lead the in-class and on-road training sessions.

Since its inception in 2008 with four cars and five students, Street Smarts has grown to the point where just under 2,000 students participated in the program last year.

"Obviously, I'm real proud of it," Sheehan said of the program's growth. "I hope the next year we do 3,000."

Sheehan, who retired from the Secret Service in 2013, said his daughter's experience with a driving instructor led him to found Street Smarts.

While he was away on assignment, his daughter took driving lessons, which included stops at local convenience stores for lottery tickets and cigarettes.

"I teach our instructors when they come on that this job is too important to be caught doing something dumb like that," Sheehan said.

Sheehan hails from a family of teachers. His parents once even owned a teacher supply business.

When he just missed the cut to become a state trooper, Sheehan set his eyes to the Secret Service. While he had the intention of becoming a firearms instructor, he was assigned to classroom instruction in 1984.

Although disappointed, he called the assignment a "blessing in disguise."

"Quickly after that, the position opened up for driver training and they didn't have anyone out there," he said.

From there, Sheehan traveled the country, auditing other agencies' driving programs and creating the Secret Service's program.

Drivers had previously been trained by other agencies, Sheehan said.