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Watch the New York Distracted Driving Summit Live here on March 3

New York Distracted Driving Summit, ‘No Distractions: Tough Questions / Practical Solutions’

New York is recognized as a leader in the fight to combat distracted driving. This summit will highlight the successes and obstacles faced dealing with this destructive behavior.  Panelists will answer the tough questions and provide real world examples of what is working, what we have learned, and what the next steps are to reduce the number of distracted driving crashes. The conference will also attempt to determine what is needed to achieve the next level of progress, and develop a working model for states nationwide to replicate.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will kick off the summit with a keynote address. He will be followed by speakers and panels of experts who will share insights on the issue of distracted driving from a variety of perspectives, including: 

When: Monday, March 3, 2014 Time: 8:30am - 3:30pm

Where: Conference Center at Westchester Medical Center - Taylor Pavillion, 100 Woods Road, Valhalla, NY

The days panels include:

Law Enforcement: New York’s Approach to combatting distracted driving                         

Chuck DeWeese, Assistant Commissioner,  Governor's Traffic Safety Committee                         

Major Martin Hansen, Director of Traffic Services, Traffic Division New York State Police

With recent legislation, New York State has assumed a national role in enforcement strategies.  State and local officials  will share  successful tactics to reduce distracted driving and the multi-pronged approach they are utilizing.

Law Enforcement: Police Protocol, Crash investigations and prosecution               

Sergeant Anthony Mendez, Delaware State Police, Crash Investigation Unit                    

Joseph A. McCormack, Esq., Chief of Vehicular Crimes Bureau, Bronx District Attorney’s Office

Prompt action is essential to ascertaining whether car collisions were caused by distracted driving. Does law enforcement have the authorizations, tools and training it needs to investigate and address cause of the crash was distraction? The panel will look at best practices for crash  investigations, , and the process for referring  matters for criminal prosecution.

 The Fourth Estate: To what extent does media have a role in changing social perception?  To what extent should it have a role?                                                      

Kate Snow, National Correspondent, NBC News                                                              

Kelly Wallace, Digital Correspondent & Editor-at-large, CNN Digital

Lucia Sanchez, Office of Communication and Consumer Information, National Highway Transportation   Association, Washington, DC

Lance Gould, Executive Special Projects Editor, The Huffington Post

Members of television, newspaper and radio, along with victims’ advocates, will discuss how media helps create support for changed social perceptions about distracted driving. Experts have pointed to the influence of media  in fueling public outrage against drunk driving.  Can and should they do the same for distracted driving? Today, new media and social networking provide an advantage in spreading awareness so how can we utilize those new methods to keep the issue in the media while still using the traditional media methods.  

Jonesing to Text - Behavioral Observations                                                                  

Joseph Bayer, Doctoral Candidate, University of Michigan Department of Communication Studies

Susan Moses, Deputy Director, Center for Health Communication, Harvard School of Public Health

A wide-ranging discussion on the behavioral, and social/societal aspect of distracted driving and its root causes. Acclaimed academics will look at the habitual nature of our cell phone use in and its root causes, in the context of distracted driving. We will examine the role of public health programs and research in helping to develop approaches to prevent injuries from distracted driving and how we can target the behavior and make it socially unacceptable.

Reaching Students and Changing Perspectives

Student Assistance Services, Corp. 

Deborah Becker, co-founder of DORCs

A recent survey showed that 97 percent of teen drivers say distracted driving is dangerous – but the same survey also showed nearly half of teen drivers admit to driving while distracted.  We will hear from an expert in substance abuse prevention and early intervention programs about what schools are doing around Westchester County to address distracted driving, and also discuss teens’ perceptions of texting and driving even in the face of known consequences, along with the type of messaging that may be most effective in changing teen behavior.  

For additional information or questions please contact Jennifer Smith at info@nyddsummit.com


Please take a moment to remember the victims of distracted driving as their families continue to honor their memories and fight to stop the epidemic of distracted driving.  When you are behind the wheel think of them and choose to avoid all distractions and focus on driving.  Share the message with everyone you love and make today the day you commit to never drive distracted.

No call, text, or post is worth a life!!


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