Today, June 7, the (Students against Destructive Decisions) will participate in a presentation to demonstrate the dangers of drinking and driving to high school seniors.
The Bloomfield Police Department, Bloomfield Fire Department, Clara Maass Hospital, BMW of Bloomfield and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office will also participate in the event. It will take place at 9:30 am at Costa Del Sol Restaurant in Union, NJ.
SADD Advisor Rachel Goldberg notes that being aware of the dangers of drunk driving /distracted driving is especially important at this time of year, with prom, graduation and summertime ahead for young drivers. The presentation will include a car crash simulation, guest speakers, and a golf cart/beer goggle simulation.
The June 7 event is the second noteworthy SADD event in a month. On May 12, SADD members played a key leadership role at the 2nd annual New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Summit, GDL4U: Good Driving for Life, in Freehold NJ to commemorate Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.
Sponsored by the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition, the Summit helped parents and teens 14-16 years of age understand New Jersey’s three-step Graduated Driver License (GDL) program (permit, probationary license, basic or unrestricted license.) The Bloomfield High School SADD Chapter led one of four teen workshops, teaching the lifesaving value of seat belts, which reduce the chances of being seriously injured and killed in a car crash by as much as 75 percent. Though car crashes are the number one cause of death in New Jersey drivers aged 16-20, seat belt use among this age group is low.
The SADD Chapter members also joined with teens and parents in a hands-on demonstration of the dangers of texting while driving as they attempted to steer golf carts, while sending and answering text messages, through a marked course set-up by the New Jersey State Police.
In 2010, there were 43,414 crashes in New Jersey involving teens drivers 16-20 years of age and 33 teens (19 drivers and 14 passengers) lost their lives. While that number is down by more than 50 percent since NJ’s GDL program took effect in 2001, more than 700 teens have died on the state’s roadways in the past decade.
Teens distracted by cell phone use behind the wheel have also contributed to a great number of car accidents in recent years. Just yesterday, a judge sentenced a Massachusettes teen to two years in prison for a fatal car collision that occurred while texting and driving.
The Bloomfield SADD Chapter members who participated in the Teen Summit included: Zach Kolibis, Tessa Rush, Olivia Reese, Nancy Contreras, Sarah Ameri, Samantha Ramcharran, and Mary Rose Marcaida. They were joined by their advisors Jay David and Rachel Goldberg.
About the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition
Established in 2010 through a grant from The Allstate Foundation in partnership with the National Safety Council, the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition is comprised of more than 125 individuals and organizations from across the state who volunteer their time and resources to help teens and parents leverage the proven principles of Graduated Driver Licensing. The Coalition also works with law enforcement, school officials and local organizations to deliver outreach, education and training programs that encourage, educate and engage communities to help teens become good drivers