The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) started the Partners for Safety Awards program in 1996 to recognize voluntary contributions made by corporations, companies and organizations outside of government in the effort to prevent highway accidents and injuries, promote traffic safety, and make New York State a safer place to live.
Beth Spirakis has done exemplary work as a leader in the Garden City PTA and the coordinator of the Garden City High School Safety Driving Campaign. Young drivers are one of our most "at-risk" populations and continuous messaging is critical to affecting change in their behavior. The concerted, community-based outreach that the PTA engaged to reduce crashes among this demographic should serve as a model for others.
Jody Clark, Director of Transportation for the Seneca Nation of Indians (SNI), has provided an open door for discussion, cooperative efforts and mentoring on traffic safety issues on SNI territory. For the 8,260 Senecas from eight clans on three territories (Oil Springs, Cattaraugus and Allegany), the collaborative efforts begun by Jody Clark have had a significant impact on traffic safety awareness in and around the Seneca Nation.
The Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC) has been very active in pursuing projects to mitigate severe crashes and fatalities in the Syracuse area. In addition to changes in road design, planning and transportation, they have developed strategies to address bicycle safety, pedestrian safety, and to combat impaired driving within their community.
Alpha Care Pregnancy Center of Albany NY has partnered with the Albany County DPW Traffic Safety Education Program to educate low income and refugee parents on the proper use of car seats and to distribute car seats to families in need. Clients are provided with a 2 hour hands-on class on how to use car seats correctly. The Alpha Care Pregnancy Center is Albany County's gateway to reaching families in need and to prevent injuries and deaths due to traffic crashes to infants, toddlers and small children.
Since 2010 the Ford Driving Skills for Life, through the Governor's Highway Safety Association, has awarded the New York Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) a "Ford Driving Skills for Life" grant to conduct teen driver education. This support has allowed GTSC to partner with educational facilities, law enforcement and community based partners to expand outreach to the teen driver demographic. These programs have educated over 10,000 students in urban, suburban and rural areas throughout New York State. These events have led to new partnerships, increased collaboration among existing traffic safety advocates and generated a large amount of media coverage on teen driver issues.
Fisher, Bessette, Muldowney and Hunter provided funding to Franklin County's "Operation Get Home Safe", which a huge success. "Operation Get Home Safe" was conducted on New Year's Eve 2014. The event was publicized throughout the county on local cable television, social media and in local businesses. With funding from Fisher, Bessette, Muldowney and Hunter, Lavigne's Transportation Services provided vans in the towns of Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Malone. The vans provided a safe ride home to 121 individual during the hours of 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Four Corners Pharmacy in Delmar opened their doors to GTSC and provided an opportunity for a full-day video shoot to allow the DMV Communications office to produce television commercials emphasizing the danger of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. In addition to providing an authentic venue, pharmacist and owner Jim Croce “played” the pharmacist in our public service announcement videos. These videos were aired across New York State, providing all New Yorkers with a greater awareness on the dangers of impaired driving.
Mr. Croce is also the "face" for the new Vision Registry and is pictured on the DMV website slider about that program.
Albion High School enthusiastically partnered with GTSC to support a county- wide traffic safety campaign targeting youth in Orleans County through the Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) grant program sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Over a three-year period, the rate of 16- to 20-year-olds who were unrestrained while in a motor vehicle was 15 percent higher than the statewide average. The total population of students ages 15-18 countywide is about 2,600.
GTSC worked with Principal Leslie Stauss, along with support from local, county and state law enforcement, to develop a highly successful intervention and educational program for the students, featuring nationally recognized speaker Jacy Good and educational tools such as "Battle of the Belts." Principal Stauss took a leadership role in working with the four other secondary schools in Orleans County; Holley, Kendall, Lydonville and Medina. She also offered input on developing the countywide initiative and served as a liaison to GTSC.
Meyer's Towing is recognized for their dedication to traffic safety in Onondaga County. Mr. Daniel Meyers, owner, has been an active member of the Onondaga Traffic Safety Board since 2008. Meyer's Towing participates annually with the Camillus Police Department and the West Genesee School District in the Impaired Driver/Distracted Driver Simulation program. The event is held on the morning of the Senior Ball. Students see first-hand the consequences of a fatal impaired driving crash in this simulation. Meyer's Towing supplies, transports and stages the crash at the school which enhances the overall presentation. Meyer's Towing also participates in the annual Onondaga County Lights on Caravan. This event is held to honor and remember victims of impaired driving and to remind the community of the dangers of driving while impaired, especially during the holiday season. Meyer's Towing operates two truck in the Caravan, each displaying a vehicle destroyed as a result of impaired driving. Mr. Meyers also provides training to police recruits at the Onondaga Police Academy in the area of Commercial Vehicle enforcement protocols.
CBS6/CW15 in Albany is recognized for their ongoing public awareness campaign on the dangers of distracted driving. Using both broadcast outlets, CBS-channel6 and CW-channel 15, as well as their web sites (http://www.cbs6albany.com/shared/news/features/ntz/) they continue to promote and champion the "No Text Zone" public information and education campaign which provides viewers with important information regarding the dangers of cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle and encourages viewers to sign the "No Text Pledge". This is accomplished with on-going related news stories during the stations Noon, 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, 10:00 and 11:30 p.m. newscasts. The stations also run "No Text Zone" messages at the bottom of the television screen. The stations web page provides links to additional distracted driving information at organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council.
Shaker High School in Latham served as the filming location last summer for four different videos featured on YouTube and the Department of Motor Vehicles' Younger Driver Web Site. Several Shaker students are featured in the videos currently being used to educate young drivers statewide. School staff and the students who participated in the creation of the videos were honored with the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) 'Partners for Safety' award. The video series was unveiled last October at the school during Teen Driver Awareness Week. Entitled "iDriveSmart", it was created specifically for teen drivers. Each video is approximately four to six minutes long and features teens talking about safe driving themes and demonstrating safe driving behaviors. The videos focus on topics including speed, distractions, inexperience and the importance of using seat belts. There is also a video for parents of young drivers.
Spitzie's Motorcycle Center in Albany was instrumental in the development of the 'Learning is for Life' motorcycle video which was released last summer. The video is intended for use by traffic safety professionals, traffic safety boards, law enforcement, motorcycle rider organizations, motorcycle dealerships and other organizations that interact with motorcyclists on a regular basis to encourage rider education.
WGRZ-TV 2 in Buffalo is recognized for its 2010 'Pledge 2 Hang Up' campaign. Under the direction of Executive Producer Athan Kompos, the station dedicated a half hour news program to the issue of distracted driving. A web page was created featuring resources for parents and teens and 'Pledge 2 Hang Up' pledge forms were distributed at local high schools.
Brakewell Steel Fabricators, Inc., Chester. The company manufactured and donated a diamond plate steel "box" for the Orange County STOP-DWI Program for safe transport throughout the county of their Teen Driving Panels exhibit, "One Second Everything Changes". Paul Payton, Operations Manager, used the pictures provided by Madison County and redesigned the box so that it has felt-lined slots on the interior to cushion the panels and prevent scratching. He also made sure that the box could be opened from the top and the side, making it easy to access the panels. He added handles, wheels and locks for easy transport and security. The total value of this box is $5,500 and it was donated by the company to Orange County STOP-DWI.
Donald Chittum, General Sales Manager, Rockland Nissan, Blauvelt. Don's 6-year-old nephew died in a car crash. His nephew was riding in an improperly installed child seat. This tragedy was a catalyst for Don to concentrate on traffic safety issues. He has personally organized, sponsored and paid for numerous traffic safety carnivals throughout his career in Rockland County at different car dealerships. Don is currently in the process of donating a brand new car to the Rockland County Sheriff's Computer Aided Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) unit. The C.A.R.E. Unit is responsible for actively recovering missing or lost children. This vehicle will be inducted into service as a mobile traffic information and safety unit in Rockland County.
WWNY-TV7 News, Watertown. This organization has been assisting local law enforcement in the area of traffic safety utilizing Public Service Announcements. TV7 has recorded and aired a number of PSAs, all geared toward alcohol use and safe driving. All of the PSAs use law enforcement officers who talk about the consequences and repercussions of alcohol use and driving. The PSAs are aired during times of school graduations and proms in an effort to reduce alcohol-related incidents. The PSAs are aired free of charge and their assistance has helped traffic safety.
Outdoor Advertising Foundation of New York, Albany. The Outdoor Advertising Foundation of New York has provided the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) with free digital displays of traffic safety messages on the Foundation's billboard along busy I-90 in Albany. The Foundation has provided this free service for the past several years for such DMV and GTSC campaigns as "Drinking and Driving. Not an Option" and "Be Smart. Drive Smart." The savings derived from the free use of the billboard were substantial, as it costs up to $1,000 a day to display a message on the digital board.
2005 - 2007
Joel DeNooyer, owner of DeNooyer Chevrolet, Colonie. Mr. DeNooyer has been a great supporter of child passenger safety in the Capital Region for the past 10 years. When we sought automobile dealerships in the area to take part in the then new concept of child safety seat check-up events, he stepped up to the plate. The DeNooyers allowed the Albany County Child Passenger Safety Program to use their facility for the first large-scale child safety seat check in 1997. Since then, they have been very instrumental in the success of these seat safety checks that are held annually. He has graciously donated tents, food, water and other refreshments for all of the 75 technicians and volunteers who work at the event.
Astoria Federal Savings and Irene M. Ferrall, Vice President, Director of Marketing Communications, Lake Success. In 2004, Astoria Federal Savings gave a grant to the Education and Assistance Corporation (EAC) which enabled them to purchase a van to use in their SAFE-START program. This provided EAC the means to participate in community based events through the area and to visit schools and day care centers. The SAFE-START van allows EAC to reach clients in low-income areas, making sure child safety seats are properly installed, and allows EAC to effectively distribute passenger safety-related materials. Beyond their financial support, Astoria Federal gives the EAC the facilities to have child passenger programs at its branches. With this support, the EAC has been able to serve more than 500 residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties and is expanding their program into Queens.
Lawrence Parisi, President of Diamond Ford, Chestnut Ridge. Diamond Ford has provided space for Child Passenger Safety events at the dealership. Mr. Parisi’s support has included providing paid media announcements to promote the events and he arranged for a live radio broadcast. He also provided refreshments for customers, volunteers and staff, providing a positive experience for those attending the events at the dealership.
Philip Norris, President of Norris Cadillac, Nanuet. Mr. Norris had sponsored the annual Traffic Safety Educational Carnival in Rockland County. The carnival includes a child passenger safety seat event with activities to entertain and inform children and families of the importance of proper installation and use of child passenger safety seats. He also supported the child passenger safety program with donations of seats and other services.
Danny's Cycles have been partners with Westchester County Traffic Safety's efforts in the area of promoting bicycle safety. Steve Kahn has been a member of the Bicycle Advocates Committee for many years. He donates time from his business to assist them in there projects to promote bicycle safety. For many years he has donated bicycles and helmets as prizes to student for the poster contest. He also puts up a tent every Sunday during Bike & Skate Sundays on the Bronx River Parkway (from May – September) to inspect bicycles free of charge and makes repairs, distribute safety materials, etc. He has demonstrated to be an important volunteer and a great asset to our program.
Dutchess Distributors, Inc. has worked closely with the Columbia County District Attorney to educate students, parents and the community about positive decision making skills regarding the issues of underage drink, drugs use and destructive decisions. Dutchess Distributors sponsored and covered all expenses for two-day, county-wide assembly program featuring SADD founder Bob Anastas and his "Check into a Winning Life Program". The program was attended by over 1,200 students at four school, giving the students a first hand experience of the loss of a loved one to an alcohol related accident combined with the motivational tools needed for a teen to succeed. The assembly received an overwhelmingly positive response and high school saw an increase in their SADD membership.
News Channel 9 is a local ABC television affiliate for the Syracuse Metropolitan Area. The television station has the number one rated local morning news program entitled: "The Morning News". This program is watched by approximately 50,000 viewers Monday through Friday from 5 AM through 7 AM. Christie Casciano, one of the anchors of the show, is a well-known personality.
"Christie," as her fans and local law enforcement know her, took it upon herself to develop a segment on the program entitled: "Streets of Speed." Christie, who has always been an advocate of law enforcement, connected her vast network of law enforcement contacts with the community at large to publicize particular problems plaguing neighborhoods in the area of traffic safety. Christie asked viewers to email or telephone her with their particular "street of speed." Christie would then go to neighborhoods in question, interview the neighbors, contact law enforcement, film the traffic violators, and then film and interview law enforcement officers doing their jobs to rectify the issue.
Lt. Shannon Trice said, "As chairperson of the Onondaga County Traffic Safety Board and as the Commanding Officer of the Syracuse Police Department's Traffic Division, I am extremely grateful of Christie's dedication and hard work in the area of traffic safety. She provides a tremendous amount of free publicity for all of the law enforcement agencies that work in Onondaga County, Madison County, Cayuga County, and Oswego County in the area of traffic safety. She literally keeps traffic safety in the news every week and connects law enforcement with the community in this important area. Christie is truly the Empire State's partner for safety."
The Colonial Insurance Agency has supported the SADD Strides for Safety Race since it began. Seven years ago our SADD groups in Otsego County wanted to initiate a SADD Run to fund after prom parties and other SADD activities throughout the year.
Michael Hutcherson of The Colonial Insurance Agency came forward and offered his financial and moral support. Michael Hutcherson has continued to support the race each and every year in hopes of getting the message out to our youth to make better and safer decisions. Without his funding, our SADD Strides for Safety Race could not have continued and grown to become the success it now is.
Allstar Motors of Saratoga Springs has sponsored two child safety seat checks a year since October 1999, one in April and one in October. Allstar donates half the service area, food and beverages plus radio and newspaper ads. They provided a fitting station area and garage for car seat and equipment storage near the end of 2002. When the 2003 seats arrived, they unloaded the truck and put the seats in the garage.
James Page of Page's Automotive has supplied 17 cars each year for the nine years of the Niagara Regional Traffic Safety Program, which exposes high school juniors and seniors from four area counties to day-long educational opportunities. Students also learn first hand the consequences of drinking and driving and of an actual 35 mph side impact crash. Mr. Page inspects the steering and suspension of each vehicle, drains all the fluids and removes the radiator and battery. Mr. Page then delivers the cars to the program, places them on the 300-foot rail, cleans up debris and enthusiastically removes the vehicles, all at his own expense.
The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) founded the World Traffic Safety Symposium, which is one of the premier traffic safety events held in New York each year. The Symposium was created so that individuals and organizations concerned with traffic safety can come together to share information and discuss innovative ideas for educating the public and making our roads and highways as safe as possible. The GNYADA works with representatives from the state and city, federal government, auto manufacturers, health care organizations and various other groups to bring together a comprehensive and current symposium each year.
Six Flags Darien Lake has worked closely with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office to improve traffic safety on the roads and highways in and around their Theme Park. Over the years, they have made physical improvements and operational adjustments that have greatly improved the flow of traffic in and around their facility. These improvements have virtually eliminated the traffic back-ups that once were commonplace. Six Flags and Clear Channel Entertainment also allow Western New York Police Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training classes to do field work on the grounds during concerts held at the Performing Arts Center. Each year, the park hosts a "Grad Night" which offers high school students a night of fun at a reduced price.
Heineken USA, together Westchester-based Heineken USA established "Operation Teen Proof. Heineken and its local distributor, Lobo Distributors, provided funding for the Distract Attorney's Officer to distribute more than 2,300 Security Laminate Verifiers and brochures to all licensed liquor establishments in Westchester County to assist in identifying fake and "chalked" driver's licenses.
Hudson United Bank, in November 2002, Hudson United Bank co-sponsored a forum entitled, "Underage Drinking: A Community Challenge," held at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. More than 250 representatives from community organizations, schools, law enforcement , religious groups and parents turned out to launch a local advisory coalition and develop strategies to reduce drinking and driving by teens.
Federal Express, during the "Walk Your Child to School Program," Federal Express employees volunteer to fill in for needed crossing guards, who were sick or otherwise unable to come to work in Clinton County. They also provided coffee to the guards on cold days and presented them with new safety equipment.
State Farm Insurance Companies, has in recent years become one of the State's premier highway safety sponsors and an active promoter of highway safety largely as a result of the initiative of Public Affairs Specialist Michelle D. Hare. Ms. Hare was determined to make a difference after hearing about a study at the University of Buffalo, which indicated seat belt use was significantly lower among African Americans than other ethnic groups. Ms. Hare organized State Farm Safety Days in minority communities in Buffalo and Rochester to improve understanding of and access to occupant and child passenger safety information. She ensure the events were highly published and well attended. Through partnerships with the New York State Police and the Buffalo Urban League, she organized a youth training seminar concerning occupant safety at a community center in Buffalo's minority-rich East Side. These events have built important bridges between law enforcement and these minority communities. Additionally, in 2002, Ms. Hare also participated in the Traffic Safety Summit on Protecting Minority Communities.
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Capital Region Safe Kids was introduced to Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield as the result of a unfortunate last-minute cancellation of a Child Passenger Safety check site. Safe Kids called upon Empire for the use of their site at Corporate Woods to conduct the safety check. Empire agreed to assist with the program on a couple of day's notice and the event was successfully held. Safe Kids having seen the large number of employees of this organization, approached Empire about holding a closed check. This was conducted to study the information retention of persons attending this type of event. Empire agreed and a check was held for their employees. Several weeks later, the same employees were asked to return and reinstall their child safety seats unassisted. This study yielded an overall success rating of 93%. It also aided in proving the long-term value of our Child Safety Seat Program.
Triple A Tri-County Motor Club, President Mike Butler has offered his time and staff to provide various boat, snowmobile and motor vehicle traffic safety courses. Mike provided space in the AAA building for the first four-day CPS course in the Oneonta area and Mike and his office manager became CPS technicians. They now maintain one of four Otsego County Child Passenger Fitting Stations. They also participate in the child safety seat events, working with our Safe Kids Coalition and the Otsego County Sheriffs Department. Triple A has been instrumental in Otsego Count Sheriff s Department purchase of the Child Passenger Safety trailer. Triple A provided matched funds for a grant awarded to the Otsego County Traffic Safety program by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.
The Pactiv Corporation, the Pactiv Corporation of Glens Falls is a manufacturer of pool noodles. This company donated its leftover and imperfect pool noodles for the child passenger safety program in the Capital Region. For local programs that use pool noodles for child safety seat check events and fitting stations, Pactiv's generosity has saved them considerable expense.
EI Aguila Publication, this publication has been consistent over the years in publicizing safe driving and motoring information pertinent to the Hispanic motorists and constituents in Westchester County and the lower Hudson Valley. Its stated goal is to position the Hispanic community as a partner and resource, and they are moving forward with that objective. The safety information they've reported has addressed issues relating to vehicle occupants safety, child passenger restraints, vehicle aggressive driving and pedestrian awareness and safety.
Eagle Broadcasting, has provided free advertising for the last year on four Tompkins County radio stations. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the messages by the Tompkins County residents. These messages have encouraged county residents to call on a daily basis in regard to proper car seat installation. Tompkins' County car safety seat program has been a success, in large part, because of the publicity provided by Eagle Broadcasting.
Veridian Engineering, for six years Veridian Engineering has demonstrated a 30MPH side impact collision with full-bodied cars occupied with 160 lb., unbelted dummies dressed in prom attire. Veridian Engineering performs the side impact collision twice a day. This extraordinary visual leaves a strong image, in the students mind, as to how dangerous auto crashes can be.
A few years into Veridian Engineering's participation, one of their engineers was instrumental in designing and implementing a helmet safety demonstration. He and other fellow engineers designed, tested and wrote a computer program to visually show high school students the importance of wearing a helmet. This year, Veridian was able to bring a visual demonstration of how an airbag works and why it is important to wear a seat belt when in front of an airbag.
Veridian Engineering has been an instrumental asset to the success of the Niagara Regional Traffic Safety Program.
The Public Safety Group of the Albany Service Lane of CSX Transportation, nominated for voluntary assistance to the New York State "Operation Lifesaver" program, which promotes safety at highway-rail grade crossings and warns of the dangers of trespassing on railroad property. This CSX Public Safety Group, headed by Ed Sheehy in Buffalo, was nominated by Seth Corwin, State Coordinator for New York State Operation Lifesaver, Inc. Corwin praised the ongoing efforts of CSX to increase public awareness of traffic safety. During 1999, CSX personnel conducted 817 safety presentations in schools and service clubs, involving more than 26,000 students and adults. Similar presentations at various fairs, train shows and other safety gatherings helped spread the Operation Lifesaver "Look, Listen and Live" safety message to more than 265,000 people.
WNYT-TV (Channel 13), an Albany, NY television station, nominated by Capital Region SAFE KIDS Coalition Co-Chair Ann Burton for its outstanding assistance in promoting traffic safety awareness. In addition to on-going news coverage of child passenger safety seat issues, WNYT has served for the past year as media sponsor for SAFE KIDS car seat safety checks, conducting live on-site broadcasts and providing numerous free public service announcements. Channel 13 also arranged to have free pagers available for parents awaiting child seat checks.
Oswego Hospital, in Oswego, NY, nominated by Oswego County Traffic Safety Board Chairperson Diane Oldenburg for its extensive efforts to provide child safety seat technicians and checkpoints. Over the past year, Oswego Hospital embarked on a program to encourage staff training as Certified Child Safety Seat Technicians and partnered with the County Health Department and Traffic Safety Board to donate child safety seats, sponsor child seat checkpoints and establish a permanent fitting station at the hospital. Chairperson Oldenburg noted that Oswego Hospital's participation has helped position Oswego County in the forefront of child passenger safety initiatives in Central New York.
Sears of Colonie Center, nominated by Peg Warren, Traffic Safety Education Program Director, Albany County Department of Public Works, and Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor William Van Alstyne, for its exemplary support of traffic safety issues in Albany County. Sears hosted a series of "safety days" last summer, featuring a variety of activities ranging from pedestrian and school bus safety programs to a bicycle rodeo and helmet distribution event. Sears also hosted a series of child safety seat programs; provided classroom facilities for two child passenger safety training programs; a display area for demonstrating and televising proper child safety seat use, and helped Albany County donate child seats to parents who could not afford them. The nomination noted that Dennis Litwak and Laurie Sajan of Sears of Colonie Center deserve special recognition for their efforts in helping to prevent traffic deaths and injuries.
United Parcel Service, nominated by Onondaga County STOP-DWI Program Administrator Elizabeth Morgan for its collaborative effort with the Safety Council of Central New York to develop a traffic safety partnership. Aimed at increasing the safety awareness of UPS drivers, employees and their families, this four-year-old partnership uses a grassroots approach toward building a larger network. Employees train co-workers and help sponsor traffic safety awareness programs that deal not only with work-related issues but also with the use of personal vehicles.
The Delaware and Hudson Railway Police Department, a Division of Canadian Pacific Railroad, for voluntarily assisting the State's "Operation Lifesaver" program which promotes safety at highway-rail grade crossings and warns of the dangers of trespassing on railroad property. This police unit was nominated by New York State Operation Lifesaver Coordinator Seth Corwin for designing and distributing 200,000 illustrated calendars suitable for school notebooks, and providing staffing and equipment for Operation Lifesaver events, including "Officer-on-the-Train" enforcement and education efforts.
General Electric Plastics in Selkirk, nominated by Albany County Executive Michael G. Breslin, for sponsoring a variety of traffic safety education events. He noted that the facility's safety program chair, Eddie Walker, has coordinated his company's involvement in bicycle safety roadeos, child safety seat projects, and traffic safety shows at local shopping centers.
State Farm Insurance, nominated by Ann Burton, executive director of Sunnyview Hospital Injury Prevention Services in Schenectady. She noted that State Farm has supported various safety education programs and the Albany County Traffic Safety Awareness Committee, including providing staffing and equipment for bicycle roadeos, child safety seat projects, children's ID cards, "Safe Kids Week," and the "Safe Summer" program.
WGRZ-TV News, Buffalo, nominated by the Erie County Office of Traffic Safety for an award-winning "Child Seat Inspection Program." For the past three years, WGRZ-TV and Special Projects Director Mark Buckley have provided free child safety seat inspections for proper use and installation, working in cooperation with the New York State Police, Erie County Sheriffs Department, Erie County Office of Traffic Safety, Rural Metro Ambulance, People Inc., and Buffalo-area Tops Friendly Markets. The program was honored by the National Safety Council in 1998 with its first annual "Excellence in Public Service Award for Highway Safety."
The Air Force's 107th Air Refueling and 914th Air Lift Wings, based in Niagara Falls, Niagara County, for sponsoring week-long traffic safety fairs for the past two years at the Niagara Falls Air Base. The fairs attracted 2,500 high school seniors from all 12 school districts in Niagara County. Special events included 30 mph crash demonstrations, the New York State Police Rollover Simulator and Convincer, the Chrysler Corporation Neon Drunk Driving Simulator, breathalyzer demonstrations, and simulated vehicle fires. The success of this program has earned Niagara County a "safe community" designation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Washington, D.C., for helping New York State promote public awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving. A cooperative effort with the National Sleep Foundation, AAA affiliate clubs in New York State, and the GTSC enabled the AAA Foundation to develop audio cassettes about drowsy driving that became a major educational component to New York's "Drive Alert, Arrive Alive" public awareness campaign. The Foundation produced the cassette and donated 10,000 copies of it for distribution throughout New York State.
Blythedale Children's Hospital, Valhalla, Westchester County, which has been instrumental in coordinating traffic safety and injury prevention programs in Westchester County for the past seven years. The hospital's numerous activities have included development of the Westchester Coalition for Injury Prevention and Control, soliciting child safety seats and aiding in their distribution through membership on the Westchester County Traffic Safety Board, developing a Traffic Safety Puppet Show for school children, and promoting bicycle safety by donating helmets and providing free conference facilities.
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT), Albany, Albany County, an organization of more than 600 professionals responsible for the administration and supervision of pupil transportation services. Since its inception in 1974, NYAPT has served New York State government as a technical resource for information on bus transportation and safety issues. NYAPT's ongoing educational efforts, including participation in the "Operation Safe Stop" school bus safety program, have helped promote safety and enhance professional development.
Nationwide Insurance, Columbus, Ohio, for its Prom Promise program, in which students encourage each other to sign pledges not to use alcohol or drugs, especially on prom night. This special safety effort is offered free of charge to high schools in 22 states, including 47 schools in the Capital Region. The student committees that coordinate the program are assisted by faculty advisors and local Nationwide Insurance agents. Nationwide provides all of the materials needed to implement an in-school campaign free of charge.
Conrail was honored for active participation in "Operation Lifesaver", a cooperative international program to promote highway-rail crossing safety and emphasize the dangers of trespass on railroad property. In addition to providing special trains and financial support, Conrail and its employees donated refurbished equipment and constructed hands-on displays for educating the public about rail crossing safety.
CVS Corporation provides funding for motorist assistance vans operated in three New York State regions by Samaritania, Inc. The award commended the Samaritan vans' emergency responses and motorist assistance on interstate highways within the Capital District. Samaritan employees are well known for their assistance at crash scenes, providing medical and mechanical aid and traffic control.
The New York State Automobile Association was honored for their donation and assistance to the statewide "Break for Safety" campaign against drowsy driving. The association also provided the "Wake Up!" audio cassettes from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety as a promotional giveaway, along with printed material and public awareness items.
Utica National Insurance Group was recognized for donations and assistance to a variety of school bus safety projects, including "Operation Safe Stop". The company also has provided rollover simulators and a TV public service message on school bus safety for the Division of State Police, sponsored driver safety skill "roadeos" for school bus policyholders, and held two bicycle safety fairs for community children.
Allstate Insurance Company was recognized for their involvement in launching New York State's New Driver Identification Program. The program provides a sign with a large "N" (for new, novice, or nuevo in English, French, and Spanish) to be displayed in the vehicle's rear window when a novice driver is at the wheel. The sign alerts other drivers to be patient because the operator is a new driver who should be given extra consideration. Allstate contributed $10,000 toward the initial production of "N" signs in 1994. They also helped to distribute signs and brochures describing the program through their offices in New York State.
Amtrak was honored for their active participation in "Operation Lifesaver," a cooperative international program involving railroads, state and local law enforcement agencies and volunteers. Through education and enforcement, Operation Lifesaver seeks to prevent crashes at railroad crossing grades, and to increase public awareness of the dangers of trespassing on or near railroad tracks and right of ways. Amtrak employees have greatly enhanced the program in New York State by completely renovating and refurbishing a large mobile display vehicle which features interactive, educational exhibits, including a locomotive simulator. The mobile display is used at schools, fairs and other events throughout the state.
Midas Muffler and Brake Shops was recognized for their "Project Safe Baby" program, under which some 1,800 Midas shops nationwide provide approved child safety seats to customers at the wholesale cost of $42. If the customer then returns the seat when the child no longer needs it, Midas provides $42 worth of services to the customer. Since the program began in May of 1993, Midas has distributed nearly 100,000 child safety seats nationwide.