The Injury Prevention Center (IPC) at Connecticut Children’s promotes the adoption of laws and regulations that make us all safer. Combined with community outreach and education, legislation is a proven method to reduce preventable injuries. The IPC does this by providing up-to-date information to inform public debate on a range of safety topics impacting children
In the early 1990s, we described the frequency, severity, and cost of bicycle injury in the state and in 1993 our advocacy has resulted in the passage of safety law mandating helmet usage for children less than 12 years. In 1997, the law was upgraded mandating helmet use for children less than 16 year of age.
Zavoski R, Lapidus G, Lerer T, Banco L. Bicycle injury in Connecticut. Conn Med. 1995;59(1):3-9.
Also in the early 1990’s, we described severe firearm injury and in 1993 our advocacy resulted in passage of an assault weapon law that prohibited the sale of selected firearms with large capacity ammunition magazines that are designed for short-quick firing without the need for skilled marksmanship. Many are specifically designed to kill human beings at close range.
Zavoski R, Lapidus G, et al. A population based study of severe firearm injury. Pediatrics. 1995;96(2):278-282.
Similarly, in 1998 we described the frequency, severity, and cost of childhood injury (including motor vehicle injury) in the state and in 1994 our advocacy had resulted in the passage of child passenger safety, further refinements in 1996, and an upgrade in the booster seat law in 2005.
Lapidus G, Lerer T, Zavoski R, Banco L. Childhood injuries in Connecticut. Conn Med. 1998;62(6): 323-331.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and in the 1990s we began a concerted effort to study the problem and promote passage of graduated driver licensing (GDL) system in the state. GDL systems phase-in the driving privilege for new teen drivers over a 12 to 18 month period and control high risk driving situations such as night driving and driving with teen passengers.
Our first publication highlighted the discrepancy between teen and parent knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors around driving issues.
Sherman, K., Lapidus, G., Gelven, E., Banco, L. New teen drivers and their parents: What they know and What they expect. Am J Health Behav. 2004;28(5):387-396.
In 1997, our advocacy resulted in passage of Connecticut Learner’s Permit Law and addition of passenger and night restrictions in 2004, and 2005. In 1996, three IPC staff were recognized for their work involving passage of learners permit law for teenage drivers and were named as Traffic Safety Leaders by the National Advocates for Highway Safety.
In 2008 we examined support for a GDL upgrade which led to passage in 2009 of significant improvements including stronger passenger and night restrictions, increased requirement for parent supervised driving, 2 hour mandatory parent class, and increased sanctions including a 48 hour license suspension for GDL violations.
Campbell, B, Chaudry N, Borrup, Hassan,S, Lapidus, G. Does Knowledge of Teen Driving Risks and Awareness of Current Law Translate into Support for Stronger GDL Provisions? Lessons Learned from One State. Traffic Injury Prevention. 2009;10(4):320-324.
In 2010, we studied the impact of Connecticut GDL system that demonstrated a 30-40% reduction in teen MVCs. The results were published in Journal of Trauma.
Rogers, S, Bentley, G, Campbell, T., Borrup, K, Saleheen, H, Wang, Z, Lapidus, G. Impact of Connecticut’s graduated driver licensing system on teenage motor vehicle crash rates. J Trauma. (in press)
In 2013 we led a policy forum on firearm policy in direct response to the Sandy Hook shootings. This policy forum featured the Commissioner of Public Health and contributed to the overall debate on gun control. In 2014, Garry Lapidus was a featured speaker at the Quinnipiac School of Law’s Health Law Symposium that focused on firearms. An article stemming from the Symposium on public policy and smart gun technology was published in the Quinnipiac Health Law Journal Online.