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HomeEast HanoverDistracted & Impaired Driving: A Personal Perspective

Distracted & Impaired Driving: A Personal Perspective

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HANOVER — Distracted and impaired driving is an epidemic that is sweeping our country, causing more than 40,000 deaths annually. We believe we must do more than convey our sympathy to those who have lost loved ones. Mayor Thomas “Ace” Gallagher and his esteemed colleagues have taken the initiative to raise awareness in their community and promote a safety culture by first addressing the subject with teens. Safety is important, and so is the need to be proactive rather than reactive. Fatalities double between Memorial Day and Labor Day when young drivers head down the shore and spend a lot more time on the roads. It is a proven fact that young drivers are most at risk, as they are most easily distracted.

Mayor Gallagher invites drivers of all ages, particularly new drivers, to attend this incredibly emotional yet informative program on Wednesday, May 29, at 7:00 p.m., where pizza, pastries, and beverages will be served. Provisions have been made for streaming and video. Seating is limited, so please be sure to sign up by emailing mayorswellness@hanovertownship.com or calling (973) 428-2463.

Leading the program with a firsthand account of the devastation brought about by distracted and impaired driving is Pam O’Donnell, a wife and mother whose husband and 5-year-old daughter were killed by an impaired driver on February 22, 2016. Designed to connect with the audience in a relatable, authentic, and emotional way, Pam’s program will make new drivers aware of how distracted and impaired driving takes lives, destroys families, and harms communities.

Rather than allow her family to have died in vain, Pam has concentrated on becoming a catalyst for change by increasing awareness of the dangers of impaired driving. Throughout the past eight years, she has become a qualified educator who has made it her life’s work to advocate for the victims of such preventable tragedies. She founded the non-profit Catch You Later Foundation, which raises awareness and donates scholarship money to honor her family.  In addition, she is the first civilian in NJ to become a police-trained Commissioned Certified Instructor responsible for presenting classes at many of the police academies and a Certified Instructor for NJ State Police. She implemented a car crash re-creation for Bayonne High School, has done podcasts, is often asked by organizations to be their keynote speaker, and has recently become a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. With a whole list of credentials and experience as a speaker who travels countrywide to get her message across, Pam O’Donnell finds herself in demand as she continues her mission to teach ways to recognize the risks, keep focus on driving, and learn how to make better decisions.

Hosted by: James Gannon, Morris County Sheriff, Mayor Mark Taylor, Florham Park, Mayor James R. Barberio, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Mayor Jason Karr, Morris Plains, Denise Brennan, Supt. Recreation, Hanover Township, Mayor Joe Pannullo, East Hanover, Mayor James Davis, Bayonne, Ret. Police Chief Ralph Scianni, Bayonne, and Mayor Timothy Dougherty, Morristown.                                                               

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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