New York Teen Safe Driving Coalition

We are a Coalition of more than 100 organizations committed to helping teens leverage the proven principles of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL). We are affiliated with state and local government, law enforcement and public health agencies, traffic safety and injury prevention organizations, academia and businesses. We’re also teens, parents and crash victims.

While teen crashes and fatalities nationwide fell to record lows in 2010, our goal is zero -- no crashes, injuries or fatalities. Ensuring that teens survive the most dangerous time of their life is not just the responsibility of parents, police and school officials, but every citizen.
 
Led by Susan Pedo, a public affairs and communications consultant specializing in health and safety issues and an adjunct instructor at the University of Albany, State University of New York, our Coalition is working collaboratively to effect change in New York. We invite you to learn about our initiatives and to join us. There are no monthly meetings or membership dues; your only obligation is to help spread the word about New York's GDL program, which is one of the best in the nation.
 

News

Members

  • Susan Pedo, National Safety Council, NYTSDC Leader
  • Lana Ajemian, NYS PTA
  • Yvette Allen-Campbell, Teen Age Taxi Club
  • Jim Allen, NYS GTSC
  • Marianne Angelillo, Author, Sharing My Stones
  • Kelley Baker, AAA Northway
  • Roy Bavaro, DCH Auto Group
  • Kenneth Beck, Bethlehem Police Department
  • Marvin Berg, RN, CN, EMT Nassau University Medical Center
  • Angela Brockmann, EAC (Education and Assistance Corp)
  • Debbie Burton, Sullivan County
  • ReBecca Canzano, Cortland County Health Department
  • Denise Cashmere, NYS Assoc. of Traffic Safety Boards
  • Amy Catanzarita, Waterford High School
  • Tara Cavanaugh, Albany County STOP-DWI
  • Kathy Cerney, Glens Falls High School
  • Ryan Chase, Red Hook Police Department
  • Dr. Julius Cheng, Kessler Trauma Center, University of Rochester
  • Erin Clark, WRGB, CBS 6
  • Chuck Conroy, NYS DMV - Office of the Young Driver
  • John Corlett, NYS AAA
  • Mardi Crawford, New York State Defenders Association
  • Christina Curran, Office of Justice Court Support
  • Pete Dandreano, Greenburgh Police Department, Crime Prevention Unit
  • Sherry Deacon, Deer Park High School
  • Rich Devlin, NYS STOP-DWI
  • Chuck DeWeese, NYS GTSC
  • Lauren DiPace Konsul, New York Prosecutors Training Institute
  • Cynthia Dort, Saratoga County Cornell Cooperative Extention
  • Sgt. Todd Engwer, NYS GTSC
  • Rosemarie Ennis, NYS Safe Kids Coalition
  • Rene Fiechter, Nassau County DA's Office
  • Denis Foley, Albany County STOP-DWI Coordinator
  • Michele Fonda, MADD Capital Region
  • Ed Frank, Choices 301
  • Gina Gilhooley, NYS DOH, Bureau of Occupational Health & Injury Prevention
  • Jacy Good, Hang Up and Drive
  • Marianne Gordineer, Family Services of Westchester
  • Melissa Graff, SADD-Roy C Ketcham High School
  • Jacob Gross, Suffolk County Sheriff's Office
  • Christina Hale, NYS STOP-DWI (Orange County STOP-DWI)
  • Cheryl Haiken, MADD Long Island
  • Patricia Hardy, Crime Victims Advocate
  • Jane Harsha, NYS PTA (Cornell University)
  • Dan Herberger, Erie County STOP-DWI Office
  • Julian Hoffman, National Safety Council
  • Jennifer Hogan, NYS GTSC
  • Libby Hollahan, White Plains Library Foundation
  • Garry Horne, Albany County STOP-DWI Training
  • Thomas Indence, Suffolk County Sheriff's Office
  • Judy Jax, Winthrop University Hospital
  • Steve Johnson, Hang Up and Drive
  • Justin Kamke, Village of Dobbs Ferry Police Dept.
  • Michael Kaufman, Stony Brook Children's Hospital
  • Susan  Katz, RN, Stony Brook University Medical Center
  • Karen Knauf, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Rochester
  • Susan Johnson, Northeast NY Safety and Health Council
  • Kristi Ladowski, MPH, Stony Brook University Hospital 
  • Bob Lathrop, NSC Alive at 25
  • Marge Lee, DEDICATEDD
  • Saul Lerner, Bellmore Merrick Central HS District
  • Judy Liman, Parent Advocate
  • Hallie Liman, Student Advocate
  • Tom Louizou, Regional Administrator
  • Rachel Lugo, EAC (Education and Assistance Corp)
  • Karen Liddle, NYS Assoc. of Traffic Safety Boards
  • Kathryn Lukaske, DCH Auto Group
  • Steven Lynchard, NOYS
  • Dep. Chief Dominick Macherone, ret., NYS GTSC, NYS Assoc of Chiefs of Police
  • Monique Magwood, NYS Office of Justice Court Support
  • Jani Majewski, MADD Long Island
  • Rich Mallow, MADD NYS
  • Colleen Mattimore, MD FAAP, WNY Pediatrics 
  • Rita Maxwell, LEAF, Inc.
  • Joyce Meadows, NYS Dept of Health
  • Ray McLean, RN, Kessler Trauma Center, University of Rochester Medical  Center
  • Jane McCormack, RN, Stony Brook University Medical Center
  • Maureen McCormick, Nassau County DA's Office
  • Stephanie McCue, NYS DOH
  • Chris Mistron, Traffic Safety Board
  • Darlene Murray, NYS Office of Justice Court Support
  • Pam Newton, Chemung County Health Center
  • Anthony Paparatto, Suffolk County Sheriff's Office
  • Nick Pantaleone, Wallkill CSD, Senior HS
  • Karen Perrone, Fitzgerald Driving School
  • Carolyn Perry, NYS DOH
  • Kelley Pike, Safe Kids Capital Region
  • Jane Powers, ACT for Youth Center of Excellence, Cornell University
  • Laurie Prividera, AAA
  • Betsy Rees, NYS DOH, Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury
  • Danielle Rella, Nassau County Traffic Safety
  • Lynn Rhone, Romulus Central School District
  • Charles Rutherford, NYS GTSC
  • Maj. Dave Salmon, New York State Police - retired
  • Robert Sassano, Unatego High School SADD Advisor
  • Susan Scarola, DHC Teen Safe Driving Foundation
  • Irene Scruton, National Safety Council, Central NY
  • Susanne Smoller, NYS PTA
  • Regina Stewart, NSC
  • John Sullivan, Erie Co STOP-DWI and Traffic Safety Office
  • Wendy Tepfer, Community Parent Center
  • Jane Townsend, New York State Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association  (NYSDTSEA)
  • Tirzah-Jo Tucci-Kamps, Cortland County Health Department
  • Lori Updyke, New York State Driver Traffic Safety Education Association
  • Bill VanAlstyne, Albany County Dept of Public Works
  • Pamela Wanning, SUNY Ulster & NYS Assoc of Traffic Safety Boards
  • Vicky Wasiel, LEAF, Inc.
  • Dr. Lucy Weinstein, Nassau Pediatric Society/Winthrop University Hospital
  • Carolyn Widrick, Weedsport Central School District
  • Stephanie McHugh, MPH, CPST, NYS Dept of Health, Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention
  • Martin Zaloga, Albany County Sheriff's Office
  • Angela Zimmerman, Molloy College, Energeia for Teens
  • Frederick Zimmerman, Whose Highway Is It Anyway? Inc.

Initiatives

Teen Crashes GTG - Sign Up Today!

Teen Crashes GTG is a program that helps student groups organize and implement traffic safety awareness activities at their schools. Students coordinate three or more simple teen safe driving activities – at least one of which involves parents. Student groups that successfully implement and report activities are eligible for a $200 incentive grant. A planning guide for implementing the Teen Crashes GTG program – as well as a registration form to get started – is available by clicking this link.  Go directly to the Registration Form here. Don't forget to submit your Report Form!

GDL Made Simple - Video and Brochure

New York’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law is highly effective in reducing teen crashes – but only if teens and parents know and follow it. GDL Made Simple is an entertaining 5-minute video that you can watch and share for free by clicking this link. The video explains New York’s 3-step GDL process for new drivers:

  1. Learner Permit
  2. Junior License
  3. Full License

A complementary GDL Made Simple brochure is available by clicking this link. This 2-page pamphlet can be downloaded, copied and shared to help reinforce the information provided in the GDL Made Simple video.

Ticket Your Parents

 
The Ticket Your Parent(s) program was designed by the Ohio Teen Safe Driving Coalition in partnership with the National Safety Council. The program is now availlable free for teachers and organization leaders who work with pre-teens in any state. Program facilitators give pre-teens a book of mock traffic tickets to issue to parents or other adult drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors. After the program ends, pre-teens discuss what they learned while observing their parents' driving behaviors.

 

Register to host Ticket Your Parent(s)! All materials are free and available for download as soon as you register. This program is a perfect Teen Crashes GTG activity for junior high students.
 
 

The HEARTS Network

Nearly everyone knows someone whose life has been impacted by a teen driving-related crash. The National Safety Council manages the HEARTS Network, a nationwide group of families and victims who have been directly impacted by a teen-related crash. The HEARTS Network - an acronym for Honoring Everyone Affected, Rallying The Survivors - helps families and victims support one another and advocate for change. We encourage anyone who has been impacted to join the HEARTS Network and the Teen Safe Driving Coalitions. 

Personal stories play an important role in affecting change. For that purpose, we have created a “Sharing HEARTS” section of the HEARTS Network webpage dedicated to telling the stories of those whose lives have changed forever because of teen-related crashes.

Visit the HEARTS Network webpage to learn more. 

 

GDL Game Plan for Coaches

The GDL Game Plan for Coaches is a vehicle for high school and recreational or travel league coaches to hold an open dialog with athletes about enforcing and adhering to GDL laws in their state. The 4-page document includes an overview of how and why the New York GDL program works; offers suggestions for engaging athletes, parents and fans; outlines a sample code of conduct; and lists online resources. Information for coaches, athletes and parents about the Coaches Game Plan – including sample text for a GDL Student-Athlete Code of Conduct. The PDFs are available below.

GDL

What is the Graduated Driver License Program?

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a three-step system designed to provide novice drivers with the necessary tools to be safe on our roadways and minimize those things that cause them the greatest risk of crash – distraction caused by other passengers, the use of cell phones and electronic devices as well as driving late at night and riding unbelted. There is a minimum age for teens to be eligible for a driver’s permit, a mandatory holding period or probationary license and a basic or full license.

What does New York’s GDL program entail?

Young New York drivers must:

  1. Be at least 16 years old to obtain a learner's permit.
  2. Log at least 50 hours of supervised driving time - 15 of which must be at night - during the first 6 months of the learner's permit stage.
  3. Be at least 16 years and 6 months old to obtain a junior license.
  4. Never drive unsupervised between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. during the junior license stage.
  5. Never carry more than 1 passenger younger than 21 - family members are an exception.
  6. Be at least 17 and complete a driver's education course to obtain a full, unrestricted license.
    If a teen does not take a driver's education course, he/she cannot obtain a full license
    until age 18.

Some exceptions and additional responsibilities may apply. Further information about New York's GDL is available at http://www.dmv.ny.gov/youngerdriver

Why does New York need a GDL program?

Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, and their crash risk is four times that of an experienced driver. The risk is highest when teens are in the first 12 to 24 months of licensure.

The “License to Save” report issued by The Allstate Foundation in December 2011 estimates that 5,594 people in New York have been killed in teen-related motor vehicle crashes since 1991. It also estimates that since 1991, 856 lives have been saved with the implementation of GDL laws in New York. Implementing GDL programs has saved approximately 14,820 lives nationwide since 1991. It is proven to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes involving teen drivers. 

Why are passengers dangerous for teen drivers?

Most teen crashes involve some form of distraction, and passengers are particularly distracting to young drivers. A teen driver is twice as likely to be killed in a crash while carrying just one passenger, regardless of whether the passenger is a friend of a sibling. Carrying two passengers increases crash risk by 158 percent, and three passengers increases risk by 207 percent.

Why is nighttime driving risky for teens?

Forty percent of all teen driver fatal crashes occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. While New York does not allow teens on the roadways after 9 p.m. or before 5 a.m., parents can always set earlier times for their teens to be off the roads. 

May teen drivers use hands-free cell phones?

New York bans all motorists from talking on a handheld device and texting while driving, but it does not have specific restrictions for teen drivers. Research clearly shows that both handheld and hands-free devices cause manual, cognitive and visual distraction, and the National Safety Council and the National Transportation Safety Board have called for a nationwide ban of all cell phone use while driving for all motorists regardless of age.

How can I help a teen driver gain more experience?

Research clearly shows that GDL programs are the most effective tool for addressing teen crash risk because they help novice drivers build skill while minimizing risk. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, coach, older sibling, neighbor or friend, learning about and enforcing the GDL program is important. 

Parents in particular play a critical role in teen driver safety. Teens who report having parents that set rules and monitor their activities in a helpful and supportive way are half as likely to crash, 71 percent less likely to drive intoxicated, 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving and 50 percent more likely to wear a safety belt. By partnering with parents, you can help to ensure that they know about and leverage the proven principles of GDL so their teens gain skill and become good drivers for life.

 

Events

Resources

Videos

Please note that some videos are property of the Teen Safe Driving Coalition and some are links from other sources.
 

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