Denville Cop Puts Heart into Helping Morris Tech Teen Drivers Stay Safe

Officer Richard Duda with some "Fatal Five" posters made by students Credits: Morris County School of Technology

DENVILLE, N.J. - Like most first responders, Denville Police Officer Richard Duda has seen way too many tragic car accidents involving teen drivers.  

So Duda, who serves as the school resource officer for the Morris County School of Technology, is taking seriously National Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs from Oct. 17 through Oct. 21.  

Often, teen driver education focuses on what the young motorists should do when behind the wheel. Duda is going to focus on what they shouldn't do. 

Sign Up for E-News

During the five days of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Duda will talk to students about the five behind-the-wheel activities that puts drivers most at risk: Drugs and alcohol, failure to wear seatbelts, distracted driving, speeding and extra passengers. 

The "5 to Drive" campaign will entail announcements each morning covering one of those five actions, said Morris County Vocational School District spokeswoman Gina DiDomenico. 

"In addition, our students in the Academy for  Design designed and created posters that will be hung throughout campus outlining the five greatest reasons for teen accident involvement," DiDomenico said.  

Duda, who has been a police officer for 15 years, doesn't just admonish teen drivers for dangerous behavior. He also rewards them, for doing it right, by handing out gift cards. 

"Basically, what I do is I will go out into the student parking lot as they are coming and going," Duda said. "I'll head out there and look at cars to make sure they adhere to all the graduated driver laws by having the stickers on the license plates. I'll look to see if they're wearing seatbelts. I'll check to make sure there's not more than passenger in the car and that they're proceeding with due caution." 

The officer will approach the compliant drivers, chat with them and give them gift cards for meals at a local restaurant, Duda said. "I will just reward them for all their good work toward safe driving," he commented. 

It's the type of thing that prompted DiDomenico to praise Duda, who has an office in the school and is on campus every day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. "He is great resource officer," she said. "He does a lot to motivate students and entice them to pay attention and follow the rules." 

Duda said finding motivation is easy, given the crash scenes he's seen. "Unfortunately, there's not a year that goes by where we don't see some kind of really bad teen-involved accident," he said. 


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Hanover/Florham Park

Florham Park Prepares for the Fourth

Its time for one of Florham Park's shining moments. The Fourth of July parade is not only the kick of to summer, it continues the legacy of being among the oldest Independence day celebrations in New Jersey. this year the festivities are set and the schedule of events is as follows;

9:00am  Flag raising ceremony at the Florham Park Fire House

9:30am  Parade begins on ...

Important Message for Florham Park Residents Regarding the Fourth of July

Important July 4th Celebration Reminder - Please be advised in the interest of safety and security, the entire parade route will be CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC beginning at 8:30am on July 4, 2018. This will impact residents who live along the parade route and all of the side streets that connect to the parade route. (Please see the map attached to this post)

Please ensure that you plan accordingly ...

Freeholders Approve 21 Historic Preservation Grants Including Florham Park and Hanover Township Properties

July 16, 2018

The Morris County Board of Freeholders unanimously approved $2.2 million in county historic preservation grants to be financed by the county’s 2018 Preservation Trust Fund to help preserve, restore, or protect historic sites in 16 towns across Morris County.

The vote was taken at the Freeholder Board’s meeting held in Mount Olive, which will get $198 000 in construction ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

July 12, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...

New Jersey Average Gas Prrice Down Slightly; Record Holiday Travel Week Underway

Florham Park, N.J.- The average price at the pump in New Jersey is $2.88 today, one cent cheaper than last week ($2.89), according to AAA Northeast’s weekly survey of fuel prices. Today’s average price is 13 cents cheaper than one month ago ($3.01), but 60 cents higher than it was on July 2, 2017 ($2.28).


AAA’s July 2nd survey of ...

Rutgers Football Zack Heeman Among the Allstate and AFCA 2018 Good Works Team Nominees

July 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.-Across America,  college football players receive praise for their superior performance on the field. Today, however, only a select group of those student-athletes have the honor of being commended for their distinguished accomplishments off the field when Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announce 169 nominees for the 2018 ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



Upcoming Events


Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Meet the Author: Lucy Tan

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, July 30, 9:00 AM

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, Little Falls

Yogi Berra Museum Summer Baseball Camp

Education Health & Wellness Sports

17 Fascinating Facts About Rutgers Athletics

July 10, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For all the critics of the athletics program at New Jersey’s largest public university, there are more than a dozen reasons to cheer for successes of the sports programs and teams on the playing fields, in classrooms and beyond.

Here are 17 on the field and off the field things this took place this past academic year at Rutgers University:

1. Rutgers had four ...


Beverly Jean (Charlton) Weimar, of Ship Bottom, and Florham Park, New Jersey passed away on March ...
Read more

The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey and the Madison Area YMCA present PhilanthrOPERA: A Musical Celebration of Philanthropy

July 21, 2018

Join the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey and the Madison Area YMCA for PhilanthrOPERA: A Musical Celebration of Philanthropy, a gathering that celebrates music while raising money for a nonprofit that serves its community on Saturday, September 29, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. PhilanthrOPERA will take place at Grace Episcopal Church, located at 4 Madison Avenue in Madison, with a reception to follow.