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Parents, teens learn consequences of distracted driving at ‘Survive UR Drive’

Fred Beans Family of Dealerships and Central Bucks Family YMCA held their third Survive UR Drive™: A Safe Driving Program for Teens for 13 teens and their parents on Sunday afternoon, April 6, at the Beans Ford dealership, Sawmill Road and North Easton Road, Plumstead Township.

Supporting the Y and Fred Beans in bringing this program to Central Bucks are TMA Bucks and Doylestown Borough Police. The organizers are hoping to continue offering Survive UR Drive each spring and fall in Central Bucks and to expand into other communities in Bucks County and beyond.

Sara Webster, criminal defense attorney, makes a point during the Survive UR Drive panel discussion on Sunday. From left: Office Dave Carlen, Sara Webster, Eric Ermigiotti and Robert Dorfman.

The program featured a panel of experts who spoke of their professional or personal experiences and then fielded questions from the parents and teens. Participating were Officer Dave Carlen, Doylestown Borough Police; Robert Dorfman, an EMT who has been responding at accident scenes for 27 years; Eric Ermigiotti, retired Central Bucks School District teacher whose son, a high school student, died in a distracted driving car crash; and Sara Webster, criminal defense attorney with extensive experience here in Bucks County with young people in motor vehicle and drug and alcohol cases.

A popular portion of the program is the driving course, which both parents and teens negotiated in golf carts while wearing “beer goggles” and texting on their cell phones. These added challenges are designed to give the drivers an experience of the vulnerability and risks of two common “distractions.” Beer goggles have specialized lenses that simulate the visual distortion caused by different blood-alcohol levels.

In addition, the adults and young people viewed a video that showed the horrors of a catastrophic automobile crash caused by texting while driving.

Special guests who visited the program on Sunday to review it as well as to add information and stories during the panel Q&A were Officer Stacie Arnosky and Corporal Wade “Mike” Jones, Plumstead Township Police; Officer John Lehnen of Buckingham Township Police; and Gloria Hall, MA, Life Skills Specialist in the Adolescent Initiative Program at Tabor Services.

For more information on the Survive UR Drive program, please contact Rachel Mauer, executive community director for the Y, at 215.348.8131 ext 1167 or Follow Survive UR Drive on Facebook.