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September 2012 


The 2012 National Triad Conference date has been confirmed

Older driver safety issues? Yep. We cover that!

Please mark your calendars for October 8th through the 10th to join us at the 2012 NATI Conference to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana in conjunction with the Indiana Attorney General's Office. Registration details can be found on our website!


National Sheriffs' Association Announces its 2011 Traffic Safety Unit Award Winner


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Sheriffs' Association is pleased to announce that it has awarded the coveted Traffic Safety Unit Award to Twiggs County, Georgia, for 2011. NSA commends Twiggs County Sheriff's Office for its yearlong Traffic Safety efforts to improve the quality of life in Twiggs County by curbing speeding, impaired driving, dangerous behaviors such as texting and driving, and increasing occupant protection use. In their work to keep our nation's highways safe, sheriffs are often the first to respond, witnessing the dangerous results of these behaviors.


NSA applauds Twiggs County for its award winning efforts in its schools and community to address impaired driving through policies, officer training, and public information and education, especially. "The Twiggs County Sheriff's Office competed against agencies both small and large from all over the nation to win this award and we are proud not only to represent our office and county but the great state of Georgia", says Sheriff Robbie Mitchum. Sheriff Mitchum will accept the award on behalf of Twiggs County at the National Law Enforcement Challenge Awards breakfast in San Diego, California, in October.


Twiggs County in 2011 demonstrated a: 2.01% decrease in overall crashes, from 248 in 2010 to 242 in 2011; 100% decrease in fatalities, from 4 in 2010 to 0 in 2011; 55% decrease in impaired driving crashes, from 9 in 2010 to 4 in 2011; and 66% decrease impaired driving injuries, from 6 in 2010 to 2 in 2011.


Most Drunk Driving Deaths Caused By Drivers With Twice Legal BAC Limit


By Suzanne Kane |


New research released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in 2010, more than two-thirds of the 10,228 drunk driving deaths (7,145 or 70 percent) involved drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or higher.


The report, "Prevalence of High BAC in Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatal Crashes" further indicates that the most frequently recorded BAC among all drinking drivers in 2010 fatal crashes was .18, more than twice the legal limit in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. On average, there was one alcohol-related death every 51 minutes.


Other report findings

The NHTSA released the report during a press conference in Washington, D.C. to launch the annual nationwide crackdown on drunk driving, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." Beginning August 17 and lasting through the Labor Day holiday weekend more than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country will support the campaign.


In July, Congress approved a $20 million incentive program that will award states extra money if they require drivers convicted of drunk driving to have ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles.

Today, 17 states have laws mandating such devices for first-time DUI (driving under the influence) offenders who want to retain driving privileges. Missouri and Virginia are the two most recent states to adopt ignition interlock laws. California has a pilot project mandating ignition interlocks for all drunken driving convictions in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare.


NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said he wants all 50 states to require ignition interlock devices.

View the new "Ignition Interlock Guidelines for DWI Courts" here (PDF). The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has a breakdown of the drunk driving laws by state here.  


(c) 2012, High Gear Media.


Stafford Sheriff's Office Gets 1st Place Traffic Safety Award 


The contest was the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Challenge.


The Stafford County Sheriff's Office won a first place traffic safety award in the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police's Law Enforcement Challenge.


"This challenge awards law enforcement agencies for excellence in overall traffic safety enforcement, community education and low traffic fatality and accident rates," said Stafford County Sheriff's office spokesman Bill Kennedy.


Sheriff Charles Jett, Master Deputy Mike Powell and Deputy First Class Jason Forman accepted the award on behalf of the Sheriff's Office at the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference in Roanoke last week. Kennedy said the sheriff's office has now entered the International Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Challenge where it will be judged against law enforcement agencies around the world.


Benton Police Focusing on Back-to-School Traffic Safety


It is that time a year again when the big yellow buses start rolling and kids start making their way back to school.  Along with school starting comes increased traffic volume on our local roadways, and unfortunately this school year is starting off with a road closure that might hinder everyone's travels.


The intersection of Smithers Drive and Military Road will be closed for at least the next 1-2 weeks due to the Military Road expansion project. This will have an impact on school traffic in the area, especially those trying to reach Howard Perrin Elementary School on Smithers Drive. There will be detours around the construction areas that are clearly marked to assist drivers.


Due to the increased traffic volume in this area, Benton Police will be posting officers on foot in the mornings and afternoons to help alleviate some of the problems associated with the construction.  Officers will also be proactively working the detour routes to ensure that aggressive driving and speeding laws are upheld. There will be a zero tolerance stance on those types of traffic violations due to the presence of construction workers and children near the school.


There are private business driveways in the area of the closure that have recently been used as a cut thru to avoid the construction zone. This is a violation of the careless and prohibited driving law and it should not be violated.


In addition to the construction area, officers will be out in force to ensure that drivers adhere to all traffic laws in the school zones.  It should be noted that a law was passed last year where drivers can be pulled over and given a citation for talking on a cellular telephone in a school zone.  Officers will be looking for these violations in addition to other distracted driving issues, such as texting and driving.  There will be a zero tolerance stance in school zones involving distracted driving, speeding, passing stopped school buses, seat belt usage and other pertinent traffic laws.    


Police ask that everyone leave a little earlier if you have to travel through the construction zone or to a school next week, and to expect delays.


Cops Step up Enforcement During Pedestrian Safety Month


Starting last week and continuing into September, Fair Lawn police officers on day tour will increase enforcement of pedestrian and driver safety violations.


The borough is employing school crossing guards this summer to man certain intersections at various times throughout the week


For the next month, police officers -- who are stepping up their enforcement of traffic safety -- plan to hit motorists with all the tricks in the pedestrian safety playbook.


"It's going to be marked units, unmarked units, we're even going to do some sting operations where we have somebody crossing the street to see if vehicles will stop," said Lt. Derek Bastinck, who is spearheading the pedestrian safety initiative that started last week and will run through September.

Since focusing their enforcement efforts one week ago, Fair Lawn police have already written 23 moving violations and made about three times that number of motor vehicle stops, Bastinck said.

Cops are focusing both on drivers on their cell phones and drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, as well as pedestrians who cross against the signal or in the middle of the street rather than at a nearby crosswalk.


In some cases, police will even use a spotter to stand on a street corner and radio over seatbelt and cell phone violations to police cars waiting further down the road.


As always, it will be up to an officer's discretion whether a violation is ticket-worthy, but Bastinck advised that motorists and pedestrians exercise additional caution for the next month.

"Officers are going to be a little more stern about violations in the crosswalks during this enforcement period," he said.


Officers that are focusing on traffic safety this month are typically out assisting patrol units with other calls, Bastinck said. 


"We have what we call directed patrol," he explained. "An officer on directed patrol is not always given a specific assignment, but this month our specific focus is going to be pedestrian safety."

In addition to focusing on traffic safety, directed officers will continue high visibility patrols of busy areas in town including Shop-Rite, Pathmark, both CVS pharmacies and the River Road and Radburn business districts.

Information for Older Drivers is Newest Topic on NIH SeniorHealth Site


Site offers information on age-related health changes, safety tips and driving adjustments

Bethesda, Maryland--(ENEWSPF)--August 21, 2012.  The National Institutes of Health today unveiled a new online resource for older drivers and families seeking information on an often sensitive topic: Is it still safe to drive? Developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH and the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Older Drivers topic offers up-to-date information on how aging may affect driving, including physical changes, safety issues and ways older drivers can cope when driving skills change. The new topic is available at


"Driving is a complex task, requiring good vision and hearing, accurate speed-distance judgments and quick reaction times, among other skills," says NIA director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. "Age-related changes affecting some of these skills can make certain driving tasks especially hard for older drivers, which is why this new web resource is so important."


Age-related changes vary widely from one person to the next, and some people can continue to drive much longer than others. Still, for many older adults, making left turns, changing lanes and navigating through intersections can be challenging, and driving errors made during these times can lead to crashes, often with serious consequences.


"No matter how experienced the driver, getting older can limit an individual's reaction time in emergency situations. That's why it makes sense for older drivers to sharpen their skills and learn ways to help adjust for age-related changes in vision, hearing and response time," said David L. Strickland, NHTSA administrator. "Taking the necessary precautions to avoid potentially hazardous situations is one way older drivers can keep their independence - and drive safely while doing it."


The new Older Drivers topic serves as an important online resource, with safety tips, recommendations about preferred travel lanes, braking and left turns. It also offers suggestions for adjusting driving habits when there are changes in hearing, vision and reaction times. Information about refresher courses, vehicle safety, regulations that affect older drivers and alternative means of transportation is also provided.


NIHSeniorHealth is a premier health and wellness website designed especially for older adults by NIA and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). In addition to information on driving, the site provides a comprehensive collection of research-based health information aimed at older adults that includes exercise and physical activity, safe use of medicines and management of diseases such as stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and Alzheimer's.


NIHSeniorHealth also has senior-friendly features such as large print and opened-captioned videos to make the information on the site easy to see, understand and navigate. Recently redesigned for today's older adults, who have some experience using the Internet to search for health information, NIHSeniorHealth now features a search function that offers users easier access to senior-related health information on this and other government websites.


NIA leads the federal government effort conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The institute's broad scientific program seeks to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. For more information on research, aging and health, go to


NLM is the world's largest library of the health sciences and collects, organizes and makes available biomedical science information to scientists, health professionals and the public. For more information, visit the website at


NHTSA, under the U.S. Department of Transportation, is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. NHTSA's mission is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity. For more information About NHTSA, visit


About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. 


For more information about NIH and its programs, visit


NCDC Joins NHTSA for Launch of Major Drunk Driving Campaign 


On Tuesday,NADCP's National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) joined The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)at a press conference unveiling the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign aimed at reducing drunk driving. The campaign was launched in conjunction with the release of NHTSA's annual survey results, which found that while drunk driving deaths decreased in 2010, over 70% were caused by drivers whose blood alcohol levels were nearly twice the .08 legal limit.


NHTSA Administrator David Strickland touted DWI Courts and the use of ignition interlock systems as a critical tools in the effort to reduce drunk driving. The National Center for DWI Courts recently released guidelines to assist DWI Courts in the implementation and use of the interlock with the repeat and high BAC offenders.


"Combining DWI Courts and ignition interlocks melds together two proven solutions," said NCDC SeniorDirector DavidWallace. "While the DWI Court team works to change participant behavior, the interlock further protects publicsafety."  A study underway in Michigan has found that DWI Courts using ignition interlock have achieved 100% compliance with all eligible participants installing the device and not one re-arrest for impaired driving.  "It doesn't get any more effective than that," he said.


Click here to learn more and download NCDC's Guidelines for the Usage of Ignition Interlock Devices in DWI Courts.


Seniors at Risk: Pedestrian Safety a Major Concern 


Georgia Kral


New analysis by the nonprofit Tri-State Transportation Campaign has found that seniors are at a higher risk than other populations when it comes to pedestrian traffic deaths. The group's annual Older Pedestrians at Risk report (PDF), was released Wednesday.


Highlights from the Older Pedestrians at Risk report, released on August 15. Courtesy of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.


The pedestrian fatality rate for people aged 60 and older in downstate New York (12 counties, including New York City), New Jersey and Connecticut is 64 percent higher than in the rest of the country, according to the report.  Addressing traffic safety for this population will become increasingly urgent since the U.S. Census reports that  by 2030, more than one-fifth of tri-state region residents will be 65 years or older.


"Tri-state residents aged 60 years and older suffer a pedestrian fatality rate that is 2.38 times the rate of those younger than 60. Those aged 75 years and older are even more vulnerable, with a fatality rate that is 3.09 times the rate for people younger than 60 years old."


The report also found that pedestrians age 60 years and older make up nearly 18 percent of the population in downstate New York, and almost 37 percent of all pedestrian fatalities involve that population.


Looking at the same year span of 2008 to 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified nearly 500 fatal pedestrian accidents in New York City, with more than 150 victims age 65 and older. More pedestrians were killed in Brooklyn than any other borough (139), followed by Queens (125), Manhattan (101), the Bronx (75) and Staten Island (23).


MetroFocus recently went to Ocean Hill, Brooklyn to find out what seniors there are doing to address street safety in their neighborhood.


Grant Lindsay, a lead organizer with East Brooklyn Congregations, which helped organize the seniors in Ocean Hill to fight for better street safety, said not much has changed since we visited last month. While the Department of Transportation has been responsive to the group's efforts, and is currently installing two much-needed stop lights on Flatlands Avenue in East New York, nothing has happened at the intersection of Eastern Parkway, Rockaway and St. Marks avenues.


"The flow of traffic needs to be redirected," he said. "We can make it safer."


The DOT has said they will study the area, and get back to him.


Lindsay said the Older Pedestrians at Risk report was not surprising.


"The DOT should be more invested in helping seniors get around their streets and sidewalks more safely," he said.


DOT Spokesperson Nicholas Mosquera said safety is the DOT's "number one priority."


"DOT has been designing more and more streets in neighborhoods across the city from the perspective of a senior," he said in a statement. "This means more crossing time and shorter crossing distances, more pedestrian islands for seniors crossing the street and improvements at literally hundreds of intersections at all five boroughs."


The DOT has been working on the Safe Streets for Seniors initiative since 2008, which is intended to transform city streets for the elderly pedestrian. Projects within the program were started in 25 neighborhoods with a high density of seniors and a high number of pedestrian accidents, and the DOT is currently working with Community Boards in 12 other neighborhoods to bring the program there, too. So far, 100 pedestrian islands have been built or expanded upon, new or expanded medians and curb extensions were installed and signal timing was adjusted to allow more crossing time for pedestrians.


But it's not just seniors who are affected. According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, 4,300 people died when hit by cars in 2010, a 4 percent increase from 2009. The vast majority of deaths, about 75 percent, took place in urban areas.

Halloween - Impaired Driving Prevention 

October 25 - November 4, 2012 Enforcement Materials


These marketing tools can be used to meet your local needs and objectives while, at the same time, partnering with other States, communities, and organizations in support of this Halloween impaired driving prevention initiative.   This campaign is based on two basic principles:

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over (enforcement), and Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving (social norming) 


Yellow Dot program for crash victims receives national recognition


Lora Weaver of the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office explains how the Alabama Yellow Dot Program works during a news conference for the program kickoff in Montgomery. The program started in Etowah County. 


MONTGOMERY - An Alabama program designed to save lives after an automobile crash was recognized Tuesday by the Governor's Highway Safety Association at the group's annual conference in Baltimore, Md.


The Alabama Yellow Dot Program was awarded the Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award for outstanding highway safety achievements.


Lora Weaver of the Northeast Alabama Traffic Safety Office in Etowah County accepted the award. Weaver led efforts to develop and expand the program from its beginnings in 2009 in Etowah County to 45 counties today. Her goal is to make the program available to residents in all of the state's 67 counties.


"It is gratifying to see an important Alabama program gain national recognition," said Gov. Robert Bentley.


The free program places a yellow decal on a vehicle's back window to alert first responders to check for medical history and prescription information in the glove compartment. Having access to an individual's medical background permits more effective care to be provided to crash victims.


To support the program, Bentley has awarded several traffic safety grants administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.


ADECA administers an array of programs that support traffic safety, law enforcement, energy conservation, workforce development, economic development, water resources, infrastructure upgrades and recreation.


According to the GHSA, "the Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, government agencies, universities and programs." It is named after a former California highway patrolman and GHSA chairman who worked to improve highway safety and prevent underage drinking and drunken driving.


For more information about Yellow Dot, go to


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