By Patricia Cahill, Executive Director, IACP Foundation; Strategic Plan Administrator, IACP; and Advisor to the IACP National Chiefs Challenge Program
- All American Buckle Up Week: May 24-31, 2004
- Memorial Day Weekend: May 28-31, 2004
- Independence Day Weekend: July 2-4, 2004
Visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov for more information on mobilization strategies and planning kits.
The Lifesavers national conference on highway safety priorities drew more than 1,800 traffic safety professionals to San Diego in March. The conference provided outstanding educational opportunities in more than 85 workshops and offered exposure to some of the best and brightest traffic safety products and programs through displays of more than 90 exhibitors. Popular workshop topics included automated enforcement issues, strategies to pass primary seat belt enforcement laws, high visibility mobilizations, and child passenger safety updates. Many of these themes were echoed in the keynote speakers' remarks. During the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration public service awards luncheon, NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey Runge praised the work of 13 individuals who exemplify the highest standards of achievement in the field of traffic safety:
Karen Arnold-Burger, presiding judge, Overland Park, Kansas, Municipal Court
James Baker, executive director and founder, Institute for Public Strategies
Erin Breen, director, Safe Community Partnership, University of Nevada
Janet Brooks, child advocacy manager, Salt Lake City, Utah
Patrick Burke, lieutenant, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C.
Steven Casstevens, assistant chief, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Police Department
Peggy Hayashi, executive director, Safe Kids, Alaska
Eddie Hedge, officer, New London, Connecticut, Police Department
Timothy Pearson, lieutenant, North Augusta, South Carolina, Police Department
Ralph Peterson Sr., mayor, Pleasantville, New Jersey
Jacqueline Saburido, survivor of drunk driving crash, Louisville, Kentucky
Autumn Alexander Skeen, booster seat advocate, Walla Walla, Washington
Patricia Fossum Waller, former director, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (posthumous award)
Attendees at the closing luncheon heard Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta announce more than 36 million dollars in grant money for states to develop innovative projects to boost safety belt use. After recognizing the efforts of all the attendees in achieving a national safety belt usage of 79 percent, an all-time high, he added his hope that the United States would one day see a safety belt usage of 90 percent, "an achievable goal no matter how much the naysayers protest."
Secretary Mineta added an international aspect to the address when he noted that "more than 1.2 million men, women, and children die and 25 million more are injured in traffic crashes worldwide every year. . . . Even as we try to make further progress in reducing our own road traffic tragedies, the United States is committed to helping our neighbors in the global community."
The next Lifesavers Conference will be held March 13-15, 2005, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
For more information, visit www.lifesaversconference.org
|Photographs by Patricia Cahill|