Press Release - 10-18-2021

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Monday, October 18, 2021



National Teen Driver Safety Week Runs From October 17 through October 23

Parents, Teachers and Adult Mentors Reminded of Their Role in Educating and Setting an Example for Young Drivers

As National Teen Driver Safety Week begins, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today reminds parents, teachers, coaches and adult mentors to talk to teens about important rules they need to follow to stay safe on the road. National Teen Driver Safety Week runs through October 23. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 18-year-olds in the United States.

“GTSC will continue its work to ensure young drivers are prepared to drive safely on our roadways,” said GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “Making sure young drivers have the tools and knowledge to be safe is a top priority for New York and we remind parents, teachers, and mentors of the important role they have in helping young drivers develop safe driving skills early on.”

To help promote safe teen driving and prevent tragedies on New York’s roadways, GTSC has continued its partnership with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). During the last year, the state’s SADD regional manager completed over 350 programs, including 74 virtual and 52 in-person engagements focused directly on traffic safety, reaching over 6,500 high school students.  Teens across the state have been focusing heavily on Rock the Belt and Textless Live More programs this year, increasing their knowledge about seat belt safety and the new law in New York requiring all passengers to be buckled in every seat, and digital distraction and its implications behind the wheel.  Additionally, the New York State Survivor Advocates Speakers Bureau competed 131 distanced and virtual programs with youth and community members, reaching over 14,000 people.

New York SADD Regional Manager, Lauren Zimmerman-Meade, said “I am so proud of our youth across the State who were able to shift the way they normally do things in their SADD chapters and still make relevant and impactful activities happen in our school districts and communities to address this ever-growing issue of young driver safety.  We know that our teens listen and learn best from one another, their peers, and programs like SADD help to cement teens’ understanding of critical concepts like occupant protection and the dangers of impaired driving in safe, inclusive environments.  We’re energized and ready to keep working with the over 100 SADD chapters we’ve developed in New York to keep this important traffic safety messaging in the front of their minds every time they get behind the wheel or into a passenger seat.”

Another 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.

GTSC is also continuing the Coaches Care program, which is a partnership with the NYS Public High School Athletic Association to enlist coaches across the state to highlight the importance of highway safety and New York's driving laws. Coaches provide guidance and instruction that help students succeed both on the field and the road.

According to the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Management and Research, police reported personal-injury crashes involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers decreased 31 percent from 2019 to 2020, while fatal crashes increased 53 percent during that same time.

Both GTSC and DMV have useful information for young drivers and their parents or caregivers. That information can be viewed at and

About GTSC
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. For more information about traffic safety in New York State, please visit the GTSC website at