Picente Unveils Oneida County’s 2011 Teen Traffic Safety Program

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. today announced that Oneida County will be taking its Teen Traffic Safety Program on the road to local schools this year to maximize the numbers of young people who are reminded about traffic safety practices that can help save lives.

“Statistics remind us that no matter what we do to help young drivers develop safe habits behind the wheel, there are still too many accidents caused by unsafe driving,” Picente said. “We try to teach the message every year, and we keep coming back at our young drivers every year, because the message we have given them is one that could help avert an accident and save a life. We want to send a strong message that reminds young people that getting behind the wheel is serious business, and that we want them to stay safe.”
 
Picente said that taking the traffic safety message on the road last year helped Oneida County’s Department of Traffic Safety, and their governmental and community partners, reach more than 4,000 young people. The presentation will include a DWI Traffic Safety simulator that will allow students to see first hand the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. The PEERS simulator is an actual vehicle that will take the students into a virtual world where they can physically see, feel, and experience the dangers of drinking and driving. They are not just shown the outward dangers of these factors, but also the after effect of drinking and driving. Upon the completion of a simulated “intoxicated” drive, students will be able to view their results on how well or poorly they drove under the influence. Along with the simulator, the New York State Police will present their "Roll Over" simulator and "Seat Belt Convincer", contingent upon availability. Also, included in the program will be a representative from The New York State Department of Transportation with its "Work Zone" driving safety program, as well as representatives of Insight House.
 
Oneida County STOP-DWI Coordinator Michael Colangelo said that getting out to local schools in the spring is an important part of the STOP-DWI effort. “We have to be sending the message every day for every driver because no matter how many times people have seen it and heard it before; there are always times when that message can influence someone. It’s the time when young people have proms, graduations and other special events, and we want them to be aware of safety for their own protection.”
 
The dates and schools are as follows:
 
Tuesday, April 26: Westmoreland High School
 
Wednesday, April 27: Clinton High School
 
Thursday, April 28: VVS High School
 
Friday, April 29: Oriskany High School
 
Monday, May 2: Proctor High School
 
Tuesday, May 3: RFA High School
 
Wednesday, May 4: Holland Patent High School
 
Thursday, May 5: Whitesboro High School