While the New York Distracted Driving Summit drew panelists and spectators from all over the country, Chappaqua was front and center. The event was held at the Westchester Medical Center and along with WMC, the summit was hosted by AT&T, DORCs (Distracted Operators Risk Casualties) and Stop Distractions.
Ben Lieberman, a long time Chappaqua resident and co-founder of DORCs, said, “There have been conferences that warn of the dangers of distracted driving but we wanted to move toward the next level of how to solve the problem. In general, we all accept that this is dangerous behavior, but the problem is growing with our dependence on Smartphone technology and the need to stay connected.”
Lieberman was the moderator on a panel addressing Police Protocol and Crash Investigations.
Deborah Becker, the other co-founder of DORCs, who has also lived in Chappaqua for many years, presided over a panel on “How To Reach Teens.” Sasha Byck, a Horace Greeley High School senior, represented the students exceptionally well. When asked about her role at the conference Sasha said, “This is the first year where driving and texting related deaths have surpassed the amount of deaths due to drunk driving. It is imperative that we as students, parents, and adults crack down on this issue before it continues to grow.”
Other panels and experts included representatives from the media for a discussion on the media’s role in solving this problem. Speakers came from many areas such as Governor Cuomo’s office, National Highway Traffic Safety Authority and even a video message from Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Obama cabinet member.
The full day’s event can be seen on www.dorcs.org