FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 29, 2011
Contact: Lynn Harvey
Secretary of State Charlie Summers Announces "Conversations With The Communities”
Summers to engage local communities in an effort to improve the safety of Maine’s highways and young drivers.
AUGUSTA, Maine -- In an effort to address the safety concerns surrounding young drivers, Secretary of State Charlie Summers announces “Conversations With the Communities” – a public discussion regarding ways to improve the safety of Maine’s young drivers. “Too many tragedies occur on Maine roadways involving young drivers every year. This past year alone, there were around 50 fatal crashes where a young driver – someone between the ages of 16 and 24 – was involved. That’s almost one crash a week”, Summers said. “It is my responsibility as the Secretary of State to look at ways to improve the safety of young drivers and all of us traveling Maine’s roadways. I want to ensure that when a young person gets behind the wheel, they have been provided with the best tools available and experience they need to be a safe, responsible driver. And I feel the best way to begin this process is to engage parents, students, educators and other concerned members of the community in an effort to make Maine’s young drivers the best in America.”
Secretary Summers has established a Technical Review Panel (TRP) as required by Maine law, M.R.S.A. Title 29-A, that will conduct a comprehensive review of young driver requirements, such as laws, rules, and the driver education curriculum in Maine. The Panel is made up of representatives from the Secretary of State’s Office, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Education, the Insurance Industry, the Motor Carrier industry, and the driver’s education community. Summers has also asked Sarah Beth Campisi, a sophomore from Thorton Academy who recently completed driver’s education, to be a member of the TRP as well. Summers said, “Although I wasn’t required to have a student on the Technical Review Panel, I feel Sarah Beth will offer a unique perspective that will benefit the Panel as we discuss areas for improvement. She has recent, first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be hitting our roadways as a new driver.”
?Conversations With the Communities? will be held on the following dates at the local Bureau of Motor Vehicle Offices: Thursday, January 5th in Lewiston at 6:00 p.m.; Monday, January 9th in Kennebunk at 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, January 12th in Portland at 6:00 p.m.; Tuesday, January 17th in Bangor at 6:00 p.m.; Wednesday, January 18th in Caribou at 6:00 p.m.; and Thursday, January 19th in Calais at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend. For a complete schedule of ?Conversations With the Community?, including addresses to the motor vehicle locations or for information and instructions on joining the discussion via Webinar, please visit the Secretary of State?s website at www.maine.gov/sos/.