Picente & Maciol Announce 2018 Teen Traffic Safety Week & No Empty Chair Campaign Details

Week-long Driver Safety Education and Enforcement Culminate in Baseball Classic 

County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. and Oneida County Sheriff Robert M. Maciol kicked off their respective 2018 Teen Traffic Safety Week and No Empty Chair Campaign events today at Holland Patent High School.

A joint effort of the Oneida County STOP DWI Program and the Oneida County Youth Bureau, along with participating school districts, partners and sponsors, the Teen Traffic Safety Week education program is presented to county high school students annually just prior to prom season.

It educates them on the effects of tobacco and marijuana use; opiate addiction; bullying, work zone driving safety, teen dating/sexual violence assaults, and the dangers of texting and driving and drinking and driving.

“The importance of Teen Traffic Safety Week cannot be understated as it strives to protect one of our community’s most precious resources — our youth,” Picente said. “This educational program is an extremely effective way to reach our teenagers through personal stories of tragedy and life-like demonstrations that make them aware of the consequences of destructive decisions. Being armed with this information, especially during this critical time of year, could mean the difference between life and death.”

Similarly, the statewide No Empty Chair Campaign educates students on the dangers of impaired and distracted driving through School Resource Officers and sports team coaches, and also involves increased patrols by law enforcement agencies near local high schools enforcing violations of the Graduated Driver Licensing law.

The GDL law is intended to give young drivers time to develop critical skills and experience in various traffic scenarios while limiting the number of passengers to reduce distractions.

“Spring is a great time of year for teens as they celebrate their accomplishments, prepare for the opportunities ahead, and enjoy their sporting events outside” Maciol said. “They should enjoy this time and not have their happy memories destroyed by a preventable tragedy. By educating our young drivers about these important highway safety issues and enforcing our traffic laws, we are doing all we can to ensure there are no empty chairs during prom and graduation season this year. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office is honored to always partner with Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr., the Oneida County Office of Traffic Safety, the Oneida County Stop DWI Program, and the schools throughout Oneida County as we deliver these critical safety programs to our teens.”

This year’s Teen Traffic Safety Week events will take place at the following schools with special guest speaker Jacy Good delivering a presentation called “Hang Up and Drive” about her recovery from a 2008 crash that was caused by a distracted driver and claimed the life of her parents and left her partially paralyzed

  • May 1: Sauquoit Valley High School at 8:30 a.m. and T.R. Proctor High School at 1:30 p.m.
  • May 2: Rome Free Academy at 8:15 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • May 3: Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School at 7:45 a.m. and Holland Patent High School at 1:15 p.m.
  • May 7: New York Mills Junior-Senior High at 9 a.m. and Oriskany Junior-Senior High School at 1:30 p.m.
  • May 8: Adirondack High School at 8:30 a.m. and Notre Dame Junior-Senior High School at 1:30 p.m.

Each school location will also have traffic safety educational stations and select locations will feature a New York State Police roll-over demonstration.

Teen Traffic Safety Week Education Program

The No Empty Chair Campaign enforcement component will target specific infractions statewide during the week, as well as other vehicle and traffic law violations. The target dates are as follows:

  • April 30: Speeding in school zones
  • May 1: Seatbelts and child restraints
  • May 2: Cell phone use and texting
  • May 3: Operation Safe Stop
  • May 4: Underage drinking and impaired driving

As part of Teen Traffic Safety Week, the 7 th Annual STOP DWI High School Baseball Classic will also take place on the following days and times at Murnane Field in Utica:

May 4th:

  • Oriskany vs. Clinton at 4:30 p.m.
  • Proctor vs. Whitesboro at 7 p.m.

May 5th:

  • Sauquoit vs. Holland Patent at 11 a.m.
  • New Hartford vs. Notre Dame at 2 p.m.
  • Westmoreland vs. West Canada at 5 p.m.

Traffic safety education sessions and State Police roll-over demonstrations will take place prior to each game.

7th Annual STOP-DWI High School Baseball Classic