New York State partners with students on safe driving campaign

ALBANY N.Y. (WHEC) — New York State announced on Monday that it’s aiming to prevent vehicle crashes involving teens by hosting driver safety events, in partnership with Students Against Destructive Decisions.

The "no empty chair" campaign will include presentations in schools from survivors of severe vehicle accidents. Student-run chapters of the SADD across the state will coordinate the presentations and social media campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted and drunk driving.

Students part of SADD will lead efforts to inform their classmates about the dangers of underage drinking and driving as many plan for prom and graduation afterparties.

One of the survivors who has spoken at past SADD events is Shannon Filbert, a judge in the town of West Seneca who became paralyzed at age 16 when she was in a car accident without a seat belt.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee also announced that law enforcement will increase patrols near high schools statewide this week to monitor school zone speeding, texting while driving, or seat belt use.

Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens according to the Centers for Disease Control. Resources on safety for young drivers are available on the state’s website and the DMV’s website.