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Drivers urged to make the right choice

Local nonprofit hosts even about safe summer driving

The open house at Beacon of Hope, the Choices 301 building, provided information about safe driving just in time for the summer months when instances of drunk driving, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents tend to increase slightly, according to Lt. Kerry Thompson of Albany County Stop DWI.

The open house at Beacon of Hope, the Choices 301 building, provided information about safe driving just in time for the summer months when instances of drunk driving, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents tend to increase slightly, according to Lt. Kerry Thompson of Albany County Stop DWI. Tom Heffernan, Sr.

— Not too long ago, Ed Frank Sr.’s son was following in his footsteps, from his name — Ed Frank, Jr. — to his work as a Colonie police officer. But now, the tables are turned and Frank is emulating his son’s path.

“We do this is memory of my son. He didn’t have a choice, cancer took care of that, but people have choices. Make the right one,” said Frank.

Frank runs Choices 301, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about distracted driving, with an emphasis on drunk driving. Named for his son’s police radio identifier, 301, Frank is carrying on the mission he and his son started working toward before his death from cancer in 2005.

The message is simple, said Frank. If you still have the chance to make a choice, don’t waste it by making it a tragic one.

“We’re not telling people they shouldn’t drink. If you’re of age … it’s certainly legal to drink but getting behind the wheel is another issue,” said Frank. “If you’re going to go out, don’t you think there should be a little planning that goes into this? How am I going to get home? Am I being selfish by saying ‘I’m fine, I can get behind the wheel?’”

Frank is targeting everyone, from high school students to adults. At an open house on Sunday, June 24, he invited the public to stop by Choices 301’s building, Beacon of Hope, at 6378 Gun Club Road in Altamont. On hand were mangled cars — the aftermath of a drunk driving decision — along with information about preventing distracted driving and frank discussion about the hazards of unsafe driving habits.

“I think everyone should go see this because everyone is going to come out of there with something,” said Lt. Kerry Thompson, Albany County Stop DWI coordinator.

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