Carsten Boethig, a former New Jersey State Police officer, and Pat McCormick, a former West Windsor Township police officer, have a combined 50 years of law enforcement experience. They give teen driver safety presentations at high schools throughout New Jersey as part of NJM’s Teen Driver Safety Program. To schedule a presentation at your school, visit njm.com/Teen-Driver-Safety.
Q: What do the presentations cover?
McCormick: The biggest factors we emphasize are issues such as distracted, impaired and fatigued driving, and New Jersey’s Graduated Driver License laws. We repeatedly drive home the point that almost all accidents are preventable, and then talk about the behaviors young drivers need to adapt to stay safe.
Q: What about the presentations has the biggest impact?
Boethig: It’s largely a matter of being able to take our experience and make it meaningful to these teenagers. A huge consideration is the enthusiasm of the students, their interaction and questions, and how readily they grasp the major themes of the presentation. They embrace the seriousness of the subject matter and realize how vigilant they need to be whenever they get behind the wheel of a car.
Q: What are the most common factors in teen-driver accidents?
Boethig: The biggest factors are lack of experience and the limited decision-making ability that goes with it. The presentation is aimed to help guide the students to make the right choices and avoid experiencing the worst-case scenarios we discuss and illustrate with videos and related material.