The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) has launched the 2017 “No Empty Chair” teen driving safety education and enforcement campaign at Garden City High School.

This week-long, statewide campaign, which runs from Monday, April 24 through Friday, April 28, raises awareness of teenage traffic safety issues across New York to ensure there are no empty chairs during prom and graduation season this year.

“Any crash involving a teen is one crash too many,” said Acting GTSC Chair and DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “By taking the opportunity to actively engage the future generation of the Empire State, we directly place traffic safety knowledge in our young drivers’ hands and stress its impact on saving their lives. This campaign is designed to change the decision-making process of young drivers and make them aware of highway safety issues that impact them as well as those who share the road with them.”

State and local law enforcement will increase their presence in the vicinity of local high schools throughout the state-wide campaign, and officers will be vigilant in enforcing violations of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law, which is designed to provide time for young people to gain critical experience in various traffic scenarios while limiting the number of passengers to reduce distractions. The New York State Department of Health created GTSC-funded pocket guides for law enforcement agencies and others on the GDL in Upstate New York, New York City, and Long Island.

The campaign will also target specific infractions throughout the week across New York, in addition to enforcing all other vehicle and traffic laws. The target dates are as follows:

Monday, April 24, 2017 – Speeding in school zones

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 – Seatbelts and child restraints

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 – Cell phone use and texting

Thursday, April 27, 2017 – Operation Safe Stop/promoting school bus safety

Friday, April 28, 2017 – Underage drinking and impaired driving

In 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the “No Empty Chair” teen driving safety education and enforcement campaign to raise awareness of highway dangers during prom and graduation season. Law enforcement agencies that have School Resource Officers (SROs) or a presence at high schools within their jurisdictions are also encouraged to conduct outreach this week and throughout the prom and graduation season.

Educators, coaches and school resource officers can click here for additional resources. Younger drivers can click here for DMV resources.