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2016 County Clerk News

Kendall Drives Home Safe Driving Message to Teens
Clerk’s Office Awarded State Farm “Good Neighbor Citizen Company Grant”

Published: 7/28/2016

For More Information Contact:

Catherine Durland (845) 486-2133

Poughkeepsie, New York - Bradford H. Kendall announced today that the Dutchess County Clerk’s Office has been awarded the “Good Neighbor Citizen Grant” from State Farm.  The monies will be devoted to the implementation of a Safe Driving/No-Texting pledge.  The program is specifically intended for teen motor vehicle applicants and to promote the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but to everyone else on the road.


Serving as an agent for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the Clerk’s Office issues learner permits, driver licenses and other motor vehicle services to the public.  All applicants for licenses in New York State must be 16 or older and apply in-person.  In most instances, teen applicants must have a parent or guardian present to provide consent.  This provides an ideal opportunity to emphasize the importance of auto safety specifically a safe driving and no-texting policy.


At the time of issuing a learners permit, the teen driver and parent will be provided with a “Safe Driving/No-Texting Pledge”. The pledge is to be signed by both present and is intended to serve as a catalyst for a positive conversation between the teen and parent on actions the new drivers can take to keep themselves and others safe on the road.  An important component of the pledge is that teens when surveyed have seen their parent’s text and drive; therefore, parents are also encouraged to sign and adhere to their own pledge.


Like State Farm, the Dutchess County Clerk’s Office is committed to the community it serves.  The Safe Driving/No-Texting Pledge is in part to prevent teen automobile crashes, reduce injuries and save lives.  Kendall stated, “While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive.  I encourage all motorists’ especially young drivers to keep both hands on the wheel and take the Safe Driving/No-Texting Pledge.”

“This program addresses teens at a critical time. In their first year on the road, teens are almost 10 times more likely to be in a crash,” said State Farm agent Jen Dunn. “We all benefit from students committing to the Safe Driving/No-Texting pledge.”

The grant award has been forwarded to the Legislature for consideration.