Drive Safely Into Summer: May 11 Event for Teens & Parents

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Join us for our next Allstate Readiness event at the White Plains Library, Wednesday, May 11 from 7-9 pm when we welcome an incredible panel of experts to tackle the topic “Drive Safely Into Summer” – a session dedicated to protecting teen drivers and parents. Our panelists include:
101_1343.JPGJacy Good and her fiance Steve Johnson became safe driving advocates after Jacy was seriously injured and her parents were killed in a traffic accident caused by a teen. The accident, which took place on the same day as Jacy’s graduation, irrevocably changed her life and her future. As she recovered, Jacy and her fiance have dedicated their lives to educating teens and adults about the dangers of distracted driving.
Rik Paul Photo, '10.JPGRik Paul has been the automotive at Consumer Reports since 2000 and recently participated in a national conference on texting and driving spearheaded by Consumers Union and the Department of Transportation.
stevephoto.JPGSteve Mochel is co-owner of Fresh Green Light, a driving school in Rye, NY which has been recognized nationally for its innovative driving simulators. Ford Hybrid cars with in car cameras and classroom and online learning. He’s also the father/step-father of four children.
Susan Murphy is a licensed clinical social worker and a Student Assistance Counselor, serving in this role at White Plains High School for 11 years. She is also the advisor to the high school’s students against drunk driving chapter.
The White Plains Library is located at 100 Martine Avenue. The event is funded by a grant through the Allstate Foundation.

Distracted Driving Shatters Lives

I recently attended an event held at Consumer Reports Headquarters that was truly a wake up call for anyone who has been guilty of texting or talking on a handheld cell phone while driving. In a study released by Consumers Union and the Department of Transportation, it was revealed that over 30 percent of young people admit to texting and driving. Additionally, in 2009, over 5500 people lost their lives due to distracted driving and over 450,000 individuals were injured.
But even more eye opening than the statistics, are the real people whose lives were irrevocably shattered as a result of distracted driving. Department of Transportation secretary Ray LaHood introduced the DOT’s latest Public Service Announcement campaign that shares the stories behind those statistics. I happen to have been sitting next to one of the victims’ family members who was featured in a PSA. Miss 2010 South Dakota lost her 21 year old brother Kelson Vaillancort when the driver of the car he was in was texting, crossed over into the wrong lane and had a horrific collision with a truck.
Take a look…

The event also featured Jacy Good, who lost her parents and was seriously injured when their car was thrown into the pathway of an 18 wheeler due to a teen who was talking on his cell phone while racing through a red light. Jacy told her tragic story at the event and shared her life’s mission to now speak out against the dangers of distracted driving. Take a look at Jacy’s recent appearance on Oprah…

It was also interesting to learn that when the Department of Transportation provided a grant to the police departments two US cities – Syracuse and Hartford that cracked down on the use of mobile phones while driving, the incidents involving texting and driving decreased by 90 percent. Officer Shannon Price with the Syracuse police department shared this information with attendees and expressed the need for this effort to be taking place nationwide. Incidentally, currently 30 states across the country have laws in place banning texting and driving. One of the states which recently turned down this initiative was Florida. That piece of news truly scares me to death considering my family and I were recently vacationing in Florida and saw dozens of drivers texting and talking on their cell phones while they were on the highway or navigating through busy intersections.
Consumer Reports features a comprehensive article about distracted driving and teens in their April issue and also offers information on apps you can download on your phone to protect your family. Additionally, the Department of Transportation provides a downloadable brochure created in partnership with Consumer Reports that offers a 6 step action plan for parents and educators on how to prevent distracted driving. Transportation secretary Ray LaHood had the best advice – put your phone in the glove compartment. No phone call or text message is that important to cost you or someone else their life!
For more information, go to Distraction.Gov or
Coming up on May 11 (7-9 pm), please join us at the White Plains Library, located at 100 Martine Avenue, where we will feature the second in our X the TXT Allstate Foundation series dedicated to protecting teens and adults behind the wheel. Jacy Good and her fiance will be our featured speakers along with Sgt. Luis Muniz from the White Plains Police Department. To RSVP, please email us at

Eyes on the Road: A Safe Driving Event

Recently, the White Plains Library Foundation Presented the first installment in the “Allstate Readiness Series”
Savvy Moms/Safe Teens: A Four-Part Program Series.
Our first event featured four people committed to making the world a safer place to drive. Our speakers shared first-hand about the dangers of distracted driving and provided expert advice on preparing teens to be safe drivers. Make a family pledge to X the TXT! (an initiative of Allstate to put an end to texting and driving.)
Take a look…

Speakers included…
Beth Feldman, founder of and editor in chief of Project You Magazine will be moderating this important event for parents and teens and our speakers include:
Emily McKhann HS 3.jpgEmily McKhann, is co-founder of, an award-winning web community for mothers, and co-founder of Mom Sends the Msg (, a public service campaign aimed at reducing distracted driving that has involved hundreds of mom bloggers across the country. Emily a Westchester resident, and her business partner, Cooper Munroe, worked with producers of The Oprah Winfrey Show on Oprah’s “No Phone Zone”segment.
Sgt. Luis Muniz works for the Community Advocacy and Strategic Initiatives Division of the White Plains Police Department, and has been involved in the school community as a School Resource Officer and as the advisor to the Explorers, a program for high school students interested in careers in public safety.
Kim-Orlando-pic.jpgKim Orlando, is founder of Traveling, the nation’s top website and blog network for traveling families. Kim is a national travel advocate for moms, and provides travel commentary for, MomTalkRadio, and the Jane Air Crew by Wyndham. Her site has been featured on, RedBook and the Wall Street Journal.
Screen shot 2011-01-08 at 9.07.07 AM.pngHeather Vandenberghe is a writer and public safety advocate, and the lead proponent of Elle’s Law. Elle’s Law was passed in NY State in August 2010, making it a crime to strike a pedestrian while driving recklessly. Advocacy for safer streets has become a primary focus for Vandenberghe since her daughter was struck by an SUV in the fall of 2009. Prior to this shift in focus, she had a successful career in marketing for over 15 years. Heather was recently featured in the New York Times profiling her emotional journey and her perseverance in getting Elle’s law passed.
Screen shot 2011-01-08 at 8.55.38 AM.pngThis program is made possible by a generous grant from The Allstate Foundation to the White Plains Library Foundation. Free admission. Refreshments will be served.