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The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) coordinates traffic safety activities in the state and shares useful, timely information about traffic safety and the state’s highway safety grant program. 

The Committee is comprised of thirteen agencies who have missions related to transportation and safety. The GTSC is chaired by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and acts as the state’s official liaison with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 


The Safety Programs Group is responsible for programs that make New York State’s roadways safer for all highway users, young and old. The staff implements and coordinates new programs and is also responsible for oversight of ongoing safety activities.   The staff oversee the highway safety programs in the state:  STOP-DWI, occupant restraint, pedestrian and wheel sport safety, all areas of safe driver behavior, police traffic enforcement and traffic records management.  Program Representative staff support local government officials, community groups and safety organizations with advice and support in creating highway safety programs and projects as well as with grant development and administration. 

Some more information on our Younger Driver topic, and Child Passenger Safety.  

One initiative we have at the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee is our No Empty Chair campaign. The 2023 statewide campaign is from Monday, April 24 to Friday, April 28. To help educate teens about safe driving, state and local law enforcement agencies that have School Resource Officers (SROs) or a presence at high schools are encouraged to conduct outreach during this campaign and throughout the prom and graduation season. 

This past year’s schedule  

  • Monday, April 24, 2023 – Speeding in School Zones 
  • Tuesday, April 25, 2023 – Seat Belt and Child Restraints 
  • Wednesday, April 26, 2023 – Cell Phone Use and Texting 
  • Thursday, April 27, 2023 – Operation Safe Stop 
  • Friday, April 28, 2023 – Underage Drinking and Impaired Driving 


We have created a Teen Driver Toolkit that is free to access. Within this toolkit you will get up-to-date statistics. This data will help in understanding the risks and challenges faced by younger drivers, making it easier to communicate the importance of safe driving practices.  

You will gain access to informative PowerPoint presentations crafted by our team. These PowerPoints are ready to be used in classrooms, driver’s education programs, or community events. They cover topics such as distracted driving, impaired driving, seat belt usage, NYS Law, and many more.  

You will also gain information about speakers from Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). SADD is a national organization dedicated to empowering young people to make positive decisions and create a safer, healthier world. SADD speakers can be invited to share their insights and personal experiences, making a significant impact on young drivers and promoting responsible driving habits  

Reasons to use the Teen Driver Toolkit 

  1. Promote Safety: By using the toolkit’s resources, you can actively promote safe driving practices among teens, reducing the risks associated with inexperience and reckless behavior. 
  2. Engage and Educate: The PowerPoint presentation is designed to engage young audiences and raise awareness about the consequences of risky behaviors on the road.  
  3. Inspire Change: SADD speakers share personal stories and real-world experiences to inspire young drivers to make responsible choices and contribute to safer roadways. 

Our Recent Accomplishments in Teen Driving  


Study Ranked New York #2 Overall for Best State for Teen Drivers 

Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Hosts 2nd Teen Driving Solutions Training Program 

A recent nationwide survey that examined the teen-driving environment in each of the 50 states using a collection of 23 key metrics ranked New York State the safest in the nation for teen drivers. The study also found that New York had the fewest teen driver fatalities per teen population and ranked New York second overall in the nation when factoring in all key metrics. 

“This ranking is a testament to the time and care that families, schools, DMV and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee take to get young drivers ready for the road,” said DMV Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “Getting a driver’s license is an important step in life and when we can teach young people to drive safely from the beginning, we know they are much more likely to carry those skills into adulthood.”  

Conducted by WalletHub, the survey analyzed key factors in the areas of safety, economic environment and driving laws. Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, EverQuote, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Road Information Program, CarMD, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,, the Governors Highway Safety Association, American Automobile Association and WalletHub research. 

As part of the State’s on-going effort to educate and train young drivers, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) has partnered with Teen Driving Solutions to conduct an industry-leading, two-day teen driving safety training, back in May. GTSC held a second event September 30 to October 1 at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany. Plans are underway to work on scheduling additional sessions around the state in the coming months. 

Funded by a grant from the national Governors Highway Safety Association and Ford Motor Company, the Teen Driving Solutions program combines classroom and behind the wheel training for teens and their parents to build upon driver education and to improve teens’ defense driving skills.  

Since 2003, New York State has seen an 80 percent reduction in fatal motor vehicle crashes where a young driver was involved, based on 2017 data. Personal injury crashes involving young drivers have decreased by 61 percent due to effort by the New York State traffic safety community. 

In addition to the Teen Driving Solutions program, GTSC sponsors and implements initiatives throughout the year directly targeting teens and young drivers. The “No Empty Chair” teen driving safety, education and enforcement campaign raises awareness of highway dangers in the hope there will be no empty chairs during prom and graduation season. Above and beyond educating students about safe driving through this campaign, state and local law enforcement increase patrols near local high schools throughout the state, and officers are vigilant in enforcing violations of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law.  

The GDL is intended to provide time for young drivers to gain critical experience in various traffic scenarios in a safe and controlled manner. Parents, caregivers, educators, and teens can find more information about the Graduated Driver Licensing Law on the GTSC website.  

Through an ongoing partnership with NASCAR driver Ross Chastain and GTSC’s Protect Your Melon initiative, GTSC and Chastain visit high schools throughout the state each year to demonstrate the importance of seat belt safety to young people who are often the least likely to properly use and wear seat belts. GTSC also works closely with Students Against Drunk Driving and sponsors a Coaches Care program which both utilize peers and teen mentors to spread critical safety information to young New Yorkers.  

Finally, the GTSC provides many resources for teens and parents, including a young driver’s tool kit, on its website. These helpful resources can be used in homes and schools to supplement the other ongoing programs the GTSC offers for teen drivers.  

For more information about DMV and the requirements for teen drivers, visit or follow the conversation online at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Child Passenger Safety  

Some things to know for the state of New York. 

New York State law requires all children to be restrained in an appropriate child restrain system while riding in a motor vehicle, until they reach their 8th birthday.  

Effective November 1,2019 all children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat.  

Scheduled car seat check events through the rest of the year. *Not all car seat check events may be on this list. Go to our website to find the information for a local car seat check station.  

October 28th –Suffolk County (Brookhaven Safety Town, Holtsville)  

November 2nd—Livingston County (Cuylerville Fire Department, Leicester) 

November 4th—Niagara County (Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, Lewiston)  

November 4th—Erie County (Catholic Health Admin Training Center, Buffalo) 

November 5th—Westchester County (City of White Plains City Hall, White Planes) 

November 15th—Albany County (SP Latham, Latham) 

November 18th—Niagara County (Rescue Fire Hall, North Tonawanda) 

December 2nd—Niagara County (Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, Lewiston) 

December 2nd—Erie County (Catholic Health Admin Training Center, Buffalo) 

December 16th—Niagara County (Rescue Fire Hall, North Tonawanda) 

Here is a link that will lead you to our free car seat check calendar for all participating counties across New York State.