DMV: CT Gov Main Page

DMV Launches New Program to Educate Teens, Parents
About Driving Safety, Passenger Restriction Laws
Beginning Oct. 1, teen driving passenger-restriction laws will also apply for the first time to teenagers who hold a learner’s permit and also to the parents or the one other adult training them.
DMV's Ernie Bertothy interviews in a podcast members of the "Mourning Parents Act" (!MPACT), mothers whose teenage sons died in automobile accidents, about the importance of teenage driver safety.

DMV Joins with Medical Professionals to Enlist Pediatricians, Family Physicians in Educating Teens about Safe Driving


Hear podcast of press conference announcing new program


HARTFORD -  Parents whose teenage children died in automobile accidents joined today with medical professionals and the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles to enlist pediatricians and family physicians around the state in a unique accident-prevention education program for teenagers and their parents.


The goal is to prevent teen injuries and deaths by having their medical professionals engage in blunt conversations about state laws pertaining to teen drivers and the risks that teens often take when operating a motor vehicle.


DMV has also put on its website ( a podcast with the mothers of three teenagers who died in car accidents. The mothers are members of Mourning Parents Act, Inc. (!MPACT), a group that advocates for laws and education to encourage safe-driving habits by teens. The DMV site will also have a podcast on the press conference today with medical officials.


The coalition pushing for greater physician involvement in teen safe driving is called the Connecticut Teen Driver Safety Partnership. It will be sending surveys this week to pediatricians around the state to inquire about current educational methods. In October the group will be sending materials for doctors to hand out to patients during office visits.  Based on survey results, other forms of educational and intervention activities will be designed. It could become a model for programs to be used in other states.


“Our previous work has shown that pediatricians and family physicians can be influenced to change office practices and mobilized to become advocates in community education and policy changes.  The Connecticut chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Connecticut Academy of Family physicians have a successful history of promoting and influencing innovative office-based health care guidance for individuals and families,” said Dr. Brendan Campbell, principal investigator for this project and part of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Hartford at Connecticut’s Children’s Medical Center.


“The heartbreak of losing a child is almost unendurable,” said Governor M. Jodi Rell. “Young drivers sometimes need to be reminded they are not indestructible. Doctors can be an effective aide to parents in persuading teens that there is little margin for error behind the wheel. A single careless or risky moment can have terrible – even tragic – results.”


The Connecticut Teen Driver Safety Partnership coalition is comprised of the Connecticut chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians, Mourning Parents Act (!MPACT), the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, the state Department of Motor Vehicles, state Department of Public Health, the Injury Free Coalition for Kids and the Allstate Foundation. Funding for the project comes from The Allstate Foundation.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens nationwide.  Although 16- and 17-year olds made up 2.5 percent of Connecticut’s driving population, they accounted for 12 percent of crashes between 2002 and 2005. Each year, nearly 6,000 teens are killed and more than 300,000 injured in crashes nationwide.

In response to the statistics, the Allstate Foundation provided $50,000 to the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Hartford to develop, implement and evaluate a statewide campaign to increase physician involvement in the teen-driving issue.


In addition to providing health care practitioners with teen-driving safety messages to deliver in waiting rooms, during office visits and through in-home reminders, physicians will become more involved in community education and advocacy activities related to teen driving. Results from the pilot project will be shared on a national basis.


DMV Commissioner Robert M. Ward said, “We welcome this partnership and see it as another strong connection to getting our message about teen-driving safety to both parents and teens. I am excited about DMV having this opportunity to work with statewide caregivers who can deliver this important message.”


“The Allstate Foundation believes teen driving is a public health crisis that has yet to find a high enough spot on the nation’s public health agenda,” said (Allstate FVP). “With the leadership of Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Hartford and its respected partners, we believe the health care community can use its unique expertise and authority to help surround teens with safe driving messages and ultimately protect teens when they get in a car as a driver or passenger.”


Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin said, “Motor vehicle crashes are a major public health issue in Connecticut and across the country.  The tragic consequences of motor vehicle fatalities involving young and inexperienced drivers and their passengers have devastating implications for their family, friends, and communities. Fortunately, virtually all automobile crashes are preventable.  This partnership will help prevent them and protect our young drivers and the many victims of automobile fatalities.” 


The Allstate Foundation, established in 1952, is an independent, charitable organization made

possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. The Foundation sponsors community initiatives to promote: safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and, economic empowerment.  Teen driving has been a priority issue for the Foundation since 2005. More information about the program is available at and


The Injury Free Coalition for Kids is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation located at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. It is a hospital-based, community-oriented organization with 44 sites in 39 cities. The work of the organization is based on the public health model of research, advocacy and education. For additional information about child safety, please call Injury Free Coalition for Kids at 212-342-0514 or visit

Content Last Modified on 9/27/2007 3:38:06 PM