Casey Feldman’s Parents Receive Courageous Advocacy Award in Massachusetts

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Casey's parents, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson holding a picture of their daughter, Casey, who was killed by a distracted driver in 2009

In creating the Casey Feldman Foundation and EndDD.org and bringing their “End Distracted Driving” (EndDD) message to the public throughout the country, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson “have given their daughter a powerful and important legacy,” the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA) concluded, recently awarding the couple the group’s 2013 Courageous Advocacy Award.

Casey Feldman was 21 when she was killed by a distracted driver in 2009. MATA recognized her parents, Joel and Dianne, for “their courage, selflessness and commitment to preventing similar tragedies,” calling it “extraordinary.”

“Casey Feldman taught her friends that everyone had a story – both unique and beautiful. She believed that telling someone’s story made a difference—to both the story-teller and their audience. Casey believed that stories change lives. In telling Casey’s story, Joel and Dianne are not only changing peoples’ lives, they are saving them. What could be a more important message and unforgettable tribute to their daughter Casey’s memory,” explained the program for MATA’s Annual Meeting and dinner on May 22nd in Newton, MA.

Feldman accepted the award from MATA President Tim Kelleher, telling the crowd of approximately 400 guests, “We are so appreciative of being honored by MATA and for their hard work to bring our End Distracted Driving presentation to teens in high schools across the state.”

MATA members have taken the EndDD.org presentation to high schools in Massachusetts since the campaign was launched in that state  in March.

“As trial lawyers, we see the awful consequences of distracted driving,” said Feldman, “But our End Distracted Driving program can help prevent these terrible crashes and make a difference in all of our communities.”

Joel Feldman, Casey's father, addressing MATA upon acceptance of the Courageous Advocacy Award

“I can’t bring Casey back, but I can tell her story and have others tell her story so that we all drive safer,” Feldman said.

“In our society, many people are uncomfortable talking about grief and loss and don’t know how to support those who are suffering,” said Feldman. “As trial lawyers, our clients are suffering and not only do we have an obligation to represent our clients , but an obligation as compassionate human beings to offer support that our clients and their families need.”

Related Links:

EndDD Campaign Initiated in Massachusetts at State Capital; Gov Issues Proclamation; H.S. Students Hear Presentation; TV News Coverage, EndDD.org, March 10, 2013

 

Marking Distracted Driving Awareness Month – IN DE AND PA, THE CASEY FELDMAN FOUNDATION’S EndDD.ORG BUILDS SUPPORT

Friday, April 19th, 2013

 

Casey's dad, Joel Feldman, speaking at the PA news conference

DE – L to R: State Police Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr., Joel Feldman, Governor Jack Markell, Lieutenant Governor Matthew Denn, Tim Lengkeek, President – Delaware Trial Lawyers, Lisa Donofrio, Executive Director, Delaware Trial Lawyers

With a Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and state lawmakers joining the cause, EndDD.org reached out to drivers and their passengers in Delaware and Pennsylvania, especially teenagers, with an urgent and life-saving warning to change their driving habits and stop driving distracted.

In separate news conferences in Wilmington, DE and Harrisburg, PA last week, EndDD.org founder Joel Feldman told the story of his 21-year-old daughter Casey, who was killed by a distracted driver. Feldman and his wife, Dianne Anderson, created The Casey Feldman Foundation and EndDD.org, a project of the foundation, to honor Casey’s life and save others.

“While I can’t bring Casey back, I can tell her story so that teens and adults will drive safer,” said Feldman, who worked with traffic safety, mental health and other experts to develop the EndDD.org interactive presentation that will be seen by more than 200,000 teens in 35 states this year.

In Wilmington, Feldman and EndDD.org supporters were joined by Governor Jack Markell, Lt. Governor Matt Denn, and State Police Superintendent Colonel Nathaniel McQueen, Jr. at a news conference hosted by the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association. That day, the state launched its second wave of cellphone enforcement, issuing tickets to drivers seen talking or texting on a cell phone. The Delaware Office of Highway Safety reported 1,718 crashes in 2012 due to distracted driving, one was fatal. Governor Markell made it clear that his office is committed to seeing that every teen in Delaware participate in the EndDD presentation.

DE – L: Governor Jack Markell, Joel Feldman and Lt. Governor Matt Denn sporting EndDD wristbands

“I was amazed by how many Delaware trial lawyers attended the news conference and stayed for a training session afterwards so that they could go out in their own communities and educate young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving,” said Joel Feldman.

In Harrisburg, Feldman joined State Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, State Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin County, Rep. Brandon Neuman, D-Washington and the Pennsylvania Association of Justice (PAJ). Sen. Teplitz and Rep. Neuman sponsored resolutions, passed unanimously in both houses, making April, “Distracted Driving Awareness Month.”

“Distracted driving takes a terrible toll on our families, communities and safety,” said Sen. Neuman. “It is my hope that educating everyone about the importance of safe driving habits will begin to change driving habits that caused 387,000 injuries and 3,331 deaths in 2011.”

“It is crucial to public safety that we continue to remind motorists to keep both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel,” said Rep. Teplitz. “Just one moment of distraction can change the lives of not only a driver, but passengers, surrounding drivers and pedestrians, as well as their loved ones. No text message is worth risking lives.”

PA – L to R: Rep. Brandon Neuman , Mike Davey (PAJ), Joel Feldman, Scott Cooper (PAJ Pres.) and State Sen. Rob Teplitz

Rep. Teplitz praised Feldman and his family for “their leadership on this critical issue.”

“After he lost his daughter, Joel Feldman changed his own driving habits and committed himself to educating others nationwide about the dangers of distracted driving, especially teens,” Rep. Teplitz said.

“The (EndDD.org) presentation is heart-wrenching, powerful, and illuminating,” Sen. Neuman said. “It will challenge every mind and leave no heart untouched.”

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said, “It is critical that everyone, but especially teenagers who are just forming good driving habits that will last a lifetime, understands that driving while distracted is terrible dangerous…I am glad that the EndDD program is being show in high schools across Pennsylvania, and I’m proud to help make April “End Distracted Driving Month” in Pennsylvania.”

PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaking at the press conference

PAJ President Scott Cooper and Mike Davey, President of the News Lawyers Division of the PAJ, have committed their members to carry the EndDD program throughout the state.

Read more about the EndDD.org news conferences:

Pennsylvania:

Lawmakers, Victim’s Father Warn of Distracted Driving Dangers (Also view full video coverage of entire PA news conference here)

Father uses daughter’s story to tell dangers of distracted driving

Lawmakers, Victim’s Father Warn of Distracted Driving Dangers 

Father tries to prevent distracted driving (FOX News video)

PA Legislators recognize April as ‘Distracted Driving Awareness’ month  (News 21 video)

PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale speaking at the news conference

 

 

 Delaware:

Father who lost daughter to distracted motorist leads effort

 

 

 

U.S. DOT, Joel Feldman’s post – Distracted Driving Awareness Month, “Celebrating my daughter’s 25th birthday”

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

“This past weekend, on April 6, we celebrated my daughter Casey’s 25th birthday. But Casey wasn’t there. She was killed in 2009 by a distracted driver, a 58-year-old man behind the wheel of a van. He took his eyes off the road for just a few seconds. Pink was Casey’s favorite color, so we released pink balloons in her memory….” Read the post of Casey’s father, Joel Feldman, founder of EndDD.org  on the U.S. DOT site: http://goo.gl/Yd4Fc

Premier Release of “Just a Few Seconds” Distracted Driving PSA Video Produced by Casey’s Father

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

“I wasn’t texting, I wasn’t using my cell phone, but I still killed someone”, says 17 year old Kate, in the new PSA video produced by Casey’s father, Joel Feldman, now incorporated into the www.EndDD.org (Casey Feldman Foundation website) distracted driving presentation. This is one of the first distracted driving videos which features both the driver and the victim’s family. Howard Stein, 61 years old, was soon to be a grandfather; his daughter Emily, also featured in the video, was newly married and 6 months pregnant at the time of her father’s death. “I knew he was going to be such a fantastic grandfather,” says Emily. View the 3 minute video:

The accident occurred in Massachusetts and the video was premiered at a press conference in Boston at the State House on Feb. 4th. In conjunction with the release of the video, Massachusetts’s Governor Deval Patrick declared Feb. 4th as Distracted Driving Awareness Day.  The Massachusetts’s Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA) participated and announced their plan to take the EndDD driving presentation to schools throughout Massachusetts.

The EndDD.org distracted driving presentation which included the new PSA video, was kicked off the following day in Mass. at Medford High School outside of Boston.

Related Links:

Photos

EndDD.org – End Distracted Driving (Casey Feldman Foundation sponsored website)

“Victims Launch End Distracted Driving Campaign” (News video clip and story)

“Father takes distracted driving cause to Mass”,  by Jeff Wolfe,  Daily Times, Feb. 4, 2013

“End Distracted Driving Campaign Kicks Off at MHS”, Medford Public Schools

“Gov. Patrick declares “Distracted Driving Day’ as Mass. lawyers discuss dangers of distracted driving”, Metro (Boston)

“Program to End Distracted Driving Underway”, Fox News Boston

“Abruptly, a life ends, another shatters; A teen works to make amends for a moment of deadly distraction”,  by Tim O’Brien, TimesUnion, Albany, NY (Feb. 16, 2013)

MATA

 

 

 

 

Painting your toe nails while driving? Putting in contact lenses? Colorado teens speak up as CO Trial Lawyers join the EndDD effort

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

By Dianne L. Anderson

 

Say what?! Yes, distracted driving comes in all shapes and as many colors as nail polish. In addition to the Casey Feldman Foundation’s philanthropy in awarding scholarships and grants to students and organizations, the Foundation is committed to ending distracted driving through its sponsored site, EndDD.org.

Casey Feldman was killed by a distracted driver in 2009 while crossing the street in a crosswalk at an intersection governed by 4-way stop signs. Joel Feldman, Casey Feldman’s father, is spreading the word nationwide and the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association  (CTLA) is just one of 13 state organizations (in addition to Canada) which has taken up the cause and has committed its members to taking the EndDD.org presentation to teens in their communities. Some 60,000 students nationwide have seen the presentation since its inception in the Spring of 2012 and Feldman estimates that some 200,000 will have seen it by the end of this year.

Feldman holds a picture of his daughter, Casey, while he discusses the dangers of distracted driving during a driver education class at Longmont High School on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.(Greg Lindstrom/Times-Call)

The presentation was developed by Joel Feldman with the help of researchers, traffic safety experts and teen messaging experts to maximize teen engagement.  Feldman has personally given the presentation to more than 7,000 teens across the country and has given 9 presentations in Colorado since January 9, 2013, reaching some 600 Colorado teens in the Denver, Boulder and Longmont area thus far. Joel is working with the CTLA to implement the program throughout the state and is providing training to its lawyers so that the message will continue to be spread.

As a result of his efforts in Colorado, Feldman received the CTLA 2013 Consumer Protection Award.  “CTLA is proud to honor Joel with the Consumer Protection Award,” said John Sadwith, executive director at CTLA.  “Joel and his wife, Dianne, share their tragedy to get teenagers thinking and their families talking about distracted driving.  Our members want to help them succeed in saving lives.”  Stated Feldman, “It is particularly gratifying to receive this award from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. Our son Brett will graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder this year and wants to make Colorado his permanent home.  My wife and I love the Boulder/Denver area where we have made many new friends since working with the University on a number of projects over the last 4 years.”

The EndDD presentation is comprehensive and covers all forms of distracted driving, not just cell phone usage, which is attributed to less than 1/4 of distracted driving crashes as of 2009 data.  “We do not want teens to have a false sense of security that if they are not using their cell phone, they are driving distraction free”, said Joel.

While teens across the country have recognized cell phone usage, eating, drinking, grooming, operating a GPS, talking to others in their vehicle and viewing roadside activity, as distractions, the Colorado teens added a few additional personal examples. Said one  teen, “My cousin is thin and very flexible and she actually had her foot up on the steering wheel and was painting her toenails as she was driving!  I was terrified.” Added another, “My mom was driving me while she put her contact lenses in her eyes! I was scared to death!”

Feldman has continued to affirm that distracted driving is not just a teen problem, but is everyone’s problem. “ In all of my presentations, the vast majority of the students report  that their parents drive distracted with them in the car. I have been so impressed with the Colorado teens who I have spoken with. They are bright, engaged and really want to drive safely. I am convinced that they will avoid many driving distractions and will also work to get their moms and dads to drive safer. Their generation will change our driving culture, just as our generation changed the culture regarding seat belt usage,” said Feldman.

Related Links:

EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving - Casey Feldman Foundation sponsored site)

Colorado Trial Lawyers Association - Community Outreach: Distracted Driving Program 

“Grieving father fights distracted driving in St. Vrain discussion”,  The Times Call, Longmont, CO 1-9-2013

“Reaching out in our communities to keep our children safe: The 2012-13 EndDD,org High School Distracted Driving Awareness Program”, by Joel D. Feldman,  Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Trial Talk,  Aug/Sept 2012

United States Department of Transportration/National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA),  “Distracted Driving 2009″ Traffic Safety Facts Research Note,  Sept 2010

U.S. Department of Transportation Commends Joel Feldman’s Efforts to End Distracted Driving

Friday, April 27th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, dedicated a recent blog article to Joel Feldman’s (Casey’s father) efforts to end distracted driving through amassing some 800 attorneys and judges to speak to students across the country and in Canada. The effort was through EndDD.org, a website sponsored by the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation and dedicated to ending distracted driving. The presentations coincided with  National Distracted Driving Awareness Month –  April, 2012.

Casey Feldman in U.S. DOT public service video

The following are excerpts from the US DOT website blog:

In February 2011, the father of a young woman who was killed by a distracted driver sent DOT a video tribute to his daughter. Joel Feldman’s powerful video about his daughter Casey was the first outside submission to become part of our Faces of Distracted Driving. And Casey’s story has proven to be one of our most effective videos, capturing the attention of people around the world. …

Since then, Joel Feldman has not rested in his pursuit of that change. The organization he started, End Distracted Driving, has been a strong advocate in our fight to get drivers to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their full attention on driving safely.

And, in honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, EndDD.org has launched the End Distracted Driving Student Awareness Initiative. This campaign seeks to educate students and other drivers throughout North America about the dangers of distracted driving. Perhaps more importantly, the Student Awareness Initiative gives drivers simple steps to keep them–and others–safe. …

End Distracted Driving has an ambitious goal for its April initiative: to reach more than 100,000 young drivers.

Within days of EndDD announcing the effort, more than 800 attorneys from across the United States and Canada had signed up to give Student Awareness Initiative presentations through high schools and civic groups. Joel Feldman says that Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) have been particularly open to hosting these presentations….

So I’m thankful that End Distracted Driving’s more than 800 volunteers are working hard throughout National Distracted Driving Awareness Month to spread the important safety message that cell phones and driving don’t mix.

Read the full U.S. DOT blog article here.

Related Links:

U.S. DOT  April 18th blog article

Casey Feldman, U.S. DOT Faces of Distracted Driving Video and Feb. 22, 2011 blog article

EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving)

 National End Distracted Driving Month

Delco, Montco and the Commonwealth of PA Establish Distracted Driving Awareness Month at the Urging of the Casey Feldman Foundation

 

Delco, Montco and the Commonwealth of PA Establish Distracted Driving Awareness Month at the Urging of the Casey Feldman Foundation

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

Joel Feldman Speaking at the Montgomery County Commissioners Meeting

At the urging of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation and Casey’s Feldman’s father, Joel D. Feldman,  the Commonwealth of Pa and Delaware County, Pa.  established April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  A similar resolution was passed last week in Montgomery County. Casey’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman were on hand at the County Commissioners meetings in Delaware and Montgomery Counties to speak and were presented with copies of the resolutions.

“We all have to make a decision as to how we will drive,” stated Joel Feldman. “Will we continue to take chances, continue to multitask and continue to drive selfishly, or will we decide that driving distracted can never be worth the risk? It took my daughter’s death for me to change the way I drive. It should not take personal tragedies for all of us to change the way we drive.” (more…)

Joel Feldman receives the 2011 Pennsylvania Association for Justice 2011 Community Service Award for work in distracted driving

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Thomas Anapol (left), Joel Feldman and Pa. Association of Justice President Ken Rothweiler

On October 21, 2011 Kenneth Rothweiler, President of Pennsylvania Association for Justice, presented Joel Feldman of the law firm of Anapol, Schwartz in Philadelphia with PAJ’s 2011 Community Service Award. Mr Rothweiler spoke about how the news of Casey’s death had affected him, as well as the entire legal community. He said that Joel chose to try to turn the tragedy into something positive, and had succeeded by taking steps so that others’ children did not also die senseless deaths. He said that it was an easy choice for him to select Joel as the recipient of the Community Service Award for 2011.

Since Casey’s death at the hands of a distracted driver in 2009, Joel, and his wife Dianne, have worked to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in order to save lives. Their collective efforts resulted in reduced pedestrian deaths in New Jersey as a result of a new pedestrian safety law and raising awareness for drivers and pedestrians about the shared responsibility for safety. (more…)

Foundation Joins Forces With Street Safe and Police For Driver Safety Program in O.C. – July 2011

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A guest experiencing the ramifications of distracted driving while using the Drive Square simulated Subaru vehicle

In  an effort to educate teens and adults about the importance of driving safely and the dangers of distracted driving, the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation partnered with Street Safe Driving Academy and the Ocean City Police Department Traffic Safety Unit for a hands on educational program about distracted driving on July 23, 2011 in Ocean City, N. J. Summer is the deadliest season for  drivers, and crowded shore towns with constant congestion and pedestrians can make an already tough driving environment even worse. Casey Feldman lost her life as a pedestrian in Ocean city, N.J. to a distracted driver two years ago.

Guests were able to sign a banner pledging to refrain from driving distracted

Guests heard from speakers including Casey Feldman’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman and were able to participate in Drive Square Simulation System demonstrations. Participants were able to drive in virtual reality by wearing computerized goggles while operating the controls of a StreetSafe vehicle from Subaru. By introducing dangerous situations such as unexpected obstructions, sudden maneuvers from other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, Drive Square allowed participants to practice their driving skills while in a safe, controlled environment. Participants first measured their ability to drive in dangerous situations while concentrating only on driving. A distraction—such as talking on the phone or texting—was then introduced, and the effects of distracted driving were immediately apparent.

Casey's mother, Dianne Anderson speaks with guests in the community center while Joel Feldman, Casey's father is interviewed by the press outside

The Casey Feldman US Dot  (United States Department of Transportation) video played continuously inside the Community Center along with the 14 minute Casey DVD, “Remembering Casey”, enabling guests to connect on a personal level with the potential devastating ramifications of distracted driving.

A Casey banner was on display encouraging pedestrians to exercise safety when crossing the street

Guests were invited to include their signatures on a banner, vowing to refrain from driving distracted and to encourage others from doing the same. The banner will be on display throughout the summer in Ocean City so that additional drivers may add their signatures and commit not to drive distracted.

The event is expected to be repeated in the Fall on the Ocean City boardwalk.

View the photos from the event.

Related Links:

NBC News40 TV News Clip

Press of Atlantic City

Sringfield Patch

Photos from the event

Street Safe Driving Academy

Drive Square Simulation System

 

 

Foundation Joins Forces to Demonstrate Impact of Distracted Driving July 23rd in Ocean City, N.J.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Casey Feldman driving on her way to the shore

Summer is the deadliest season for teen drivers, and crowded Shore towns with constant congestion and pedestrians can make an already-tough driving environment even worse. In an effort to educate teens and adults about the importance of driving safely and the dangers of distracted driving, StreetSafe joins the OCPD Traffic Safety Unit and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, which honors Casey Feldman, a Springfield, PA 21 year old who was struck and killed by a distracted driver in Ocean City during the summer of 2009.

At the event, guests will hear from noted speakers and will be able to participate in Drive Square Simulation System’ demonstrations. Drive Square is the most advanced and realistic driving simulator available today, allowing participants to drive in virtual reality by wearing computerized goggles while operating the controls of a StreetSafe vehicle from Subaru. By introducing dangerous situations such as unexpected obstructions, sudden maneuvers from other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, Drive Square allows participants to practice their driving skills while in a safe, controlled environment. Participants first measure their ability to drive in dangerous situations while concentrating only on driving. A distraction—such as talking on the phone or texting—is then introduced, and the effects of distracted driving are immediately apparent.

StreetSafe, which recently opened its third location in Haddonfield, NJ near its partner Subaru of America’s headquarters in Cherry Hill, NJ, is offering behind-the-wheel lessons for teens at the Southern Jersey Shore in the summer months. At the distracted driving workshop, StreetSafe will provide parents and teens with information about its driver training program that ensures teens have the skills they need to survive on the road and become lifelong safe drivers.

Featured speakers will include:

•Joel Feldman, father of the late Casey Feldman who is active in the fight against distracted driving
•Meg Kramer, Founder of StreetSafe
•Dave Poirier, Vice President of Operations for StreetSafe
•Police Sgt. Brian Hopely, Supervisor of the Ocean City Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit

This event will take place at the Ocean City Free Public Library, 1735 Simpson Avenue, Ocean City, on Saturday, July 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m..