The Secretary of State's Speaker’s Bureau is designed to support public organizations looking for speakers focused on Young Driver Safety.
- In Maine 16 to 24 year olds comprise 11.4% of all licensed drivers, but they are involved in 29% of all motor vehicle fatalities and 38.5% of all injuries.
- Nearly 2 young drivers are killed each month in Maine
Time for Change
In light of these statistics, Secretary of State Charlie Summers has initiated a review of Maine's driver education program in an attempt to update the curriculum and place more emphasis on driving dynamics most applicable to this age group.
In discussing and reiterating the danger and lasting effects of unsafe driving habits, and in modeling safe habits, we all play a role in changing the tolerance for unsafe driving amongst our young drivers and passengers. Secretary of State Charlie Summers has initiated a Speaker’s Bureau comprised of volunteers willing to speak from their own experience, giving a first-hand account of how their lives have been forever changed by an unsafe driver.
Whether bringing attention to this topic at civic/business meetings, forums, public events, or student venues the value of engaging students and the community in this discussion is imperative to making positive changes.
Find out More
See Our Speakers for a list of volunteers participating in this program. Please contact speakers directly to schedule them for your event. If you would like more information about the Secretary of State’s Speaker’s Bureau, contact: Nicole Ladner at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Kendra Smith’s son Jeff Letellier was killed two weeks after his 17th birthday on May 4th, 2005 in an automobile crash caused by excessive speed. On his way home from helping a friend whose vehicle was stuck in the mud, Jeff got into the passenger seat of a vehicle with a young driver who sped through a stop sign and was struck by an oncoming truck. Jeff was killed instantly.
With the assistance of family and friends, Mrs. Smith has set up a foundation called Justice4Jeff hoping to save another family from enduring the pain her family has suffered. The Foundation works to educate teenagers on the importance of speed limits with its Save Speed 4 The Track (SS4TT) program. SS4TT volunteers are motivated to keep young drivers alive and help them to explore safe place to fill their need for speed by connecting them with their local race tracks and drivers; and teaching them the difference between a car or truck built for the street and one built for the track. Another goal of the program is to sustain a fund to assist parents who have lost a child in an automobile crash with the costs of burial services.
Contact Kendra Smith directly at email@example.com or 207-590-4394
Chief Robert MacKenzie
Chief Robert MacKenzie is a 23-year veteran of the Kennebunk Police Department, a 2010 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA., and a former Drug Recognition Expert. His special interest for apprehending impaired operators stems from his former career as a firefighter/EMT, requiring him to respond to numerous alcohol and drug-related accidents involving deaths and serious injuries. In both of Chief MacKenzie’s careers, he has witnessed the senseless destruction of lives that impaired drivers can cause.
The Point of No Return, a video depicting this destruction, originated from a dream that woke Chief Mackenzie in the middle of the night. In the dream, he envisioned a movie in which young adults found themselves in a much too common situation involving alcohol. Broken down into sections, the first one comes to a point where wrong choices were made and an intervention was presented to educate the young adults of the potential consequences of their actions. The movie then appeared to rewind as though no intervention took place and a second scenario followed. Interventions were presented chronologically and the movie rewound after each until the Point of No Return was inevitable and resulted in a fatal accident.
Chief MacKenzie immediately drove to work and wrote the story line. He found his way to Video Creations, with the help of Bill Paterson and Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition at the University of New England. He completed the storyline and made the video a reality.
Chief MacKenzie hopes this movie makes a difference in the lives of adolescents by giving them something to think about should they find themselves in one of the scenarios in real-life. “If the movie helps save one person,” says MacKenzie, “it was all worth it!”
Contact Chief Robert MacKenzie directly at 207-604-1339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
He is available to attend events in York and Cumberland counties.