Press Release - 05-09-2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
GOVERNOR’S TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF 2023 “NO EMPTY CHAIR” EDUCATION AND ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN
Nearly 38,000 Tickets Issued During Statewide Enforcement Initiative
Focused on Teen Driving Safety
The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today announced the results of the “No Empty Chair” teen driving safety education and enforcement campaign that ran April 24-April 28, 2023.
During that time, state and local law enforcement increased patrols near high schools around the state, and officers were vigilant in enforcing violations of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law. The GDL is intended to provide time for young drivers to gain critical experience in various traffic scenarios in a safe and controlled manner.
“When prom and graduation time come around, everyone is excited to celebrate those milestones, but all too often, safety may take a back seat to that good time,” said GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “Our mission is making sure that those important events take place with no empty chairs, and everyone who is supposed to be there in attendance. We take seriously providing a coordinated approach of education and enforcement to remind young drivers about their obligations as motorists and what happens if someone is driving recklessly, distractedly, or impaired.”
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The annual campaign’s main purpose is to raise awareness of highway dangers in the hope there will be no empty chairs during prom and graduation season, as well as providing peer-to-peer education through groups like Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Car crashes are higher among teens ages 16 to 19 than any other age group. Per miles driven, teen drivers in this age group are nearly three times as likely to be in a fatal crash as drivers 20-years-old or older.
The GTSC offers a Younger Driver Toolkit including resources for coaches and school resource officers. Additional younger driver resources are also available on the DMV website.
Combined with education and enforcement campaigns, GTSC coordinates various traffic safety activities throughout the year and supports ongoing initiatives to improve pedestrian, motorcycle, and bicycle safety. The GTSC also sponsors critical training for law enforcement, provides resources for teen drivers and their parents, and promotes seatbelt use statewide.