‘No Empty Chair’ campaign enforced in West Seneca

The West Seneca Central School District teamed up with the West Seneca Police Department April 18-22 to inform high school students about safe driving as part of the “No Empty Chair” campaign.

The statewide campaign is sponsored by the governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in response to the number of injuries and fatalities that occur while driving in springtime. “With proms, graduation and nice weather, the kids are out driving. It’s a time when accidents happen,” shared West Seneca Police Captain Ed Baker.

The police put posters for the campaign on the walls of West Seneca West and East Senior High Schools last year, but this year they wanted to be more involved and educational while increasing enforcement around the schools. “Our School Resource Officers have lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations that they’re going to put out to the kids at school during certain classes,” Baker said leading up to the event.

Every day of the week focused on a specific driving topic. April 18 focused on speed in school zones, April 19 was seatbelts, April 20 cell phone use and texting while driving, April 21 Operation Safe Stop, and April 22 underage drinking and impaired driving. Both schools also had PSAs on distracted driving play during their morning show announcements.

“It gives statistics and talks about the graduated license program in New York State and penalties the kids could face if they’re caught [breaking the law when driving],” Baker said. “There’s a lot of information going out.”

To learn more about the campaign, please visit www.safeny.ny.gov.