The 40th Annual NCSL Legislative Summit, held last week in Minneapolis, offered legislators, staff, and organizations the chance to come together and discuss issues that are most important in the 50 states and beyond.
This year, we were pleased to attend a pre-meeting discussion with members of the traffic safety community. Topics of special interest in the session, Street Smart: Innovations in Traffic Safety, included ignition interlock devices, child passenger safety laws, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and the future of technology on our nation's roadways. Dr. Ben Hoffman, Medical Director at the Tom Sargent Safety Center in Oregon, reminded attendees that children are our most vulnerable population. Representative Roger Goodman (D-Washington) and Shelly Baldwin, Impaired Driving Program Manager for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, discussed the history of ignition interlocks in their state and the overall impact their increased use has had on road safety.
During the rest of the Summit, we shared resources found on responsibility.org and statistics for attendees to use during National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 19 through 25). As a new school year approaches, attendees wanted to know about how to talk to kids of all ages about ways to make healthy, smart decisions. The Ask, Listen, Learn program and resources, the new Grab the Goodies app, and iDECIDE program were of special interest to parents of middle schoolers, while the IKnowEverything program caught the attention of many parents of new and soon-to-be drivers. Many attendees took home our IKnowEverything sunglasses, keep an eye out for them in your community or school!
The health and safety of children and drivers of all ages remains a top concern for legislators across the country and around the world. We enjoyed talking with attendees about the many ways to encourage #responsibility at home and in legislation, and look forward to continuing the conversation as it evolves in the future.