State coordinator appointed to help prevent teen driving tragedies

NY Capitol Bureau

Empire State Weekly

ALBANY, N.Y. (via NEWS10) – Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is teaming up with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to help prevent teen driving crashes and improve safety on New York’s roadways. Through this partnership, SADD has established its first-ever State Coordinator position to mobilize SADD chapters and expand awareness efforts across the state.

In her role as the SADD State Coordinator, Lauren Zimmerman-Meade will build upon GTSC’s work promoting safe teen driving by creating, equipping, and sustaining a network of student-run chapters in schools and communities focused on peer-to-peer education. She will support chapters by keeping them active, informed and engaged in statewide and national programs, activities, and initiatives that encourage traffic safety. Zimmerman-Meade will also identify communities with a high rate of teen crashes and help implement specific activities that address dangerous driving behaviors.

“SADD is well known in New York and has such potential to change the culture of teen driving. This Coordinator role will ensure that teens themselves have the resources and support they need to empower their peers to make safe choices behind the wheel.”

Lauren Zimmerman-Meade, SADD New York State Coordinator

This new partnership will set the stage for National Teen Driver Safety Week which runs from October 20-26.

A major component of New York’s teen traffic safety is the Graduated Driver License Law (GDL). The GDL places restrictions, such as nighttime driving rules and passenger limits, on drivers under 18-years-of-age who have a junior learner permit or junior driver license. The law is intended to provide time for teens to gain critical experience in various traffic scenarios in a safe and controlled manner.

This year, a WalletHub study found New York was again the top state in the nation for teen driver safety. New York was previously ranked number one for safety in 2017 and 2018. The study analyzed the teen-driving environment in each of the 50 states using nearly two dozen key metrics which focused on safety, economic environment, and driving laws.

For more information on the GDL and other advice for teen drivers and parents, visit the Resources for Young Drivers, and Parent’s Guide to Teen Driving pages on the DMV’s website and the GTSC’s Younger Driver Tool-Kit.

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Capitol Correspondent

Corina Cappabianca is the New York State Capitol Correspondent. She enjoys reporting on all things government and politics related. Corina began her career as a Political Reporter/Weekend Anchor/Producer at KXMB-TV CBS12 in Bismarck, North Dakota. She has also worked in Syracuse, New York. Corina is a graduate of New York University where she double-majored in Journalism and Politics. As a student, she interned at Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.

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