In our continuous efforts to make America's roadways safer for everyone, the Department of Transportation has had tremendous support from many safety partners. But it would be difficult to find a grassroots organization that has been more consistently effective than Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Since its origins 30 years ago, MADD has become the gold standard for helping change unsafe driving practices nationwide. Last week, MADD demonstrated their effectiveness once again with a bold new annual event, PowerTalk 21 Day, the national day for parents to start talking with their kids about alcohol.
And thanks to MADD and Senators Amy Klobuchar and David Vitter, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution declaring every April 21 as PowerTalk 21 Day. While MADD and DOT believe that every day is a good day for starting that discussion, knowing that it's part of a national conversation may help parents introduce the sometimes difficult subject of underage drinking.
“Research has shown that parents are the number one influence in their child’s decisions about drinking, so MADD is eager to get the conversation about alcohol started in households across the country — particularly in advance of prom and graduation season,” said MADD National President Laura Dean-Mooney, whose husband was killed by a drunk driver.
MADD understands that talking to teens about something as sensitive as underage drinking and alcohol abuse is a challenge. That's why they've created a great new handbook, "Power of Parents; It's Your Influence." You can get your copy here.
One of my favorite resources on Power of Parents is "Why Should You Care?" which can motivate parents who aren't certain they want to open up this conversation with their kids. And for those who are uncomfortable about how to navigate these difficult waters, "Handle Tough Questions" offers sensible, expert advice so you don't have to go it alone.
Look, as a father and grandfather, I know this conversation isn't always easy. So thank you, MADD, for more than 30 years of helping to keep our roads safe, and for this excellent new resource in the fight against underage drinking.