DA Announces Distracted Driving Presentations For High School Students

JAMESTOWN – District Attorney Patrick Swanson announced Tuesday that Jacy Good and Steve Johnson from ‘Hang Up and Drive’ will be presenting their message on September 18 and 19 at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. 
Swanson said all nineteen public schools that pull students from Chautauqua County will be invited. There will four presentations in total; two on the 18th for seniors and two on the 19th for juniors.
Good and Johnson are nationally recognized public speakers and advocates for cell phone-free roads. Since Jacy’s miraculous recovery from the 2008 crash, caused by a distracted driver, that claimed the lives of both her parents and left her partially paralyzed, they have worked tirelessly to educate the country about the dangers of cell phone use behind the wheel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Six teens, ages sixteen to nineteen, die every day from motor vehicle injuries. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages sixteen to nineteen are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged twenty and older to be in a fatal crash.
Studies have also shown that the correlation between cell phone use and motor vehicle crashes is increasing. The ‘Hang Up and Drive’ presentation is centered on distracted driving, educating teen drivers and improving the safety of our roads.
District Attorney Swanson will be utilizing crime forfeiture funds to finance the presentation. Through the coordinating efforts of Swanson and superintendents of all 19 public schools that pull students from Chautauqua County, over 3,000 juniors and seniors will be attending the program.
“I’m very pleased that Jacy and Steve’s message will be received by every high school senior and junior in our county. Getting this message to them at the beginning of the school year was very important,” said Swanson. “I want to thank all the superintendents that have worked with me to get this message to their students. The importance of our new drivers exercising good judgment and caution cannot be overstated. It was no small task to get every district on the same page and committed to the same dates and times.”
“In particular, I offer my special thanks to Southwestern Superintendent Maureen Donahue. She was instrumental in getting the ball rolling. I also want to thank Ms. Kathleen Eads and the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts for assisting me in ironing out the details of such a large event. The Reg Lenna Theater is such a beautiful and historic location in our county and I am so happy they were willing to host us. Hopefully, our high school seniors and juniors appreciate the venue’s beauty and history while digesting the very important message.”
Due to student safety issues, only students, school staff and media will be allowed to attend.