FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
DMV COMMISSIONER VISITS HIGH SCHOOL TO PROMOTE TEEN DRIVER AWARENESS WEEK AND NEW TEEN SERVICES AVAILABLE FROM DMV
School Served As Backdrop For Filming of Educational Teen Driver Videos
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner David J. Swarts visited Shaker High School in Latham, New York today to unveil the Department's new educational teen driver videos during national "Teen Driver Awareness Week." The video series, entitled "iDriveSmart" and filmed on the Shaker campus will be featured on the DMV's Younger Driver Web site and on You Tube. The videos focus on topics including speed, distracted driving, inexperience and the use of seat belts.
"We know that it is not enough to just discuss safety with young drivers," said Commissioner Swarts. "These Web-based videos featuring familiar school scenes have been created with the goal of reaching our youngest motorists with important driver safety messages during a critical period in their driver education."
Several Shaker High School students served as extras in the videos that were filmed over the summer. Each video is approximately four to six minutes long and features teens talking about safe driving topics and demonstrating safe driving behaviors. There is also a video for parents of young drivers. In it, a parent describes how he lost his daughter in a car crash in 2001. It was determined that driver distraction and inexperience were the causes of the crash.
"We are very pleased to have Commissioner Swarts join us today to talk with our students about the many issues facing young drivers," said Principal Richard Murphy. "I am also very proud of the Shaker students and staff who participated in the creation of the DMV "iDrive Smart" videos. By doing so, they have helped carry a message to young drivers across the state that learning and practicing safe driving habits will make the roads safer for us all. These videos also reinforce important practices taught in our driver education program at Shaker High School."
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among young people ages 16-24. The majority of crashes occur during the first six months of licensed driving when young, inexperienced drivers have not yet adequately developed key driving skills and habits such as: driving attention, visual search strategies, speed relative to conditions, hazard recognition and emergency maneuvers.
In May, the Commissioner visited three other high schools across the State during what is known nationwide as the "100 Deadliest Days" to discuss similar safety topics with high school students. Recognizing the need to address the unique issues that younger drivers face, the Commissioner created The Office for the Younger Driver in 2008. The Department's efforts have also included recommendations to the legislature on the quality and availability of driver education, the creation of the Younger Driver web site and the creation of a School Resource Officer tool kit.
Also announced today are enhancements to the Teen Electronic Event Notification service or TEENS. TEENS is a voluntary free service offered by the Department that notifies the parent or guardian of a minor, under the age of 18, in the event that a conviction, suspension, revocation or accident appears on the minor's driver's license record. Beginning on October 19, any parent or guardian signed up for this program, and all new enrollees, will also be notified in the event that the minor receives a ticket. The ability to register for TEENS on the Internet or change various notification options on the Internet were also announced. These changes make the TEENS program a more effective and convenient tool for parents to use.
The "iDriveSmart" videos can be viewed by visiting the web site of the Office for the Younger Driver at http://www.dmv.ny.gov/youngerdriver/ and clicking on the "Check Out Our Teen Driver Videos" box on the bottom of the page. More information can also be found by visiting www.dmv.ny.gov and www.safeny.ny.gov.
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