For Immediate Release
March 13, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

MEDIA ADVISORY: Dr. Howard Rodenberg Available for Interviews
in Support of Teen Driving Safety Bills

Dr. Howard Rodenberg, State Health Officer and Director of the KDHE Division of Health, is available March 13 through March 15 for media interviews to discuss two teen driving safety bills being considered by the Kansas Legislature. If you are interested in scheduling an interview with Dr. Rodenberg, you are encouraged to contact Nancy Akin at 785-296-1086. Media outlets that would like an on-camera interview are encouraged to call early as Dr. Rodenberg will only be available for phone interviews on March 15.

The first bill, Senate Bill 211, is a proposed primary seatbelt law for teenagers that would make it possible for law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle and issue tickets because teens inside are not wearing seatbelts. The second bill, Senate Bill 294, is a graduated drivers license bill. If made law, this bill would place limits on driving privileges and delay the ability of teens to obtain a full drivers license if they violate traffic laws while they have their learner’s permit.

As a ranking state health official, an emergency room physician and having offered testimony on these bills, Dr. Rodenberg is willing to offer his unique perspective on the need for stronger laws to protect Kansas teens from motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of death for teenagers in this country.

KDHE joins the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Highway Patrol and several public safety advocacy groups in support of these bills.