JEFFERSON CITY - Focusing on fatality reduction, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety boldly rolled out a new goal of 700 or fewer fatalities by 2016 at the Blueprint to Save More Lives Conference held in Branson. In addition to the aggressive new goal, the group pledged to work toward an eventual goal of zero roadway deaths.
"We've been very successful in meeting our goals since the inception of the coalition", said Leanna Depue, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "We're all committed and we will work very hard toward the new goal."
Missouri is one of nine states able to boast of six straight years of declining fatality totals. It is one of ten states that experienced more than a 35 percent reduction in fatalities between 2005 and 2011, and one of three states with more than 2,000 fewer traffic fatalities since 2005. Missouri is also the only state in the nation to have achieved all three of these accomplishments.
National keynote speakers engaged conference attendees with messages to educate and enlighten them on highway safety initiatives. Workshops offered included distracted driving, impaired driving, occupant protection, older drivers, commercial motor vehicles, motorcycle safety, pedestrians and young drivers.
Highway Safety Heroes were recognized with an awards luncheon which honored prestigious statewide and regional awards to those who have substantially advanced highway safety in Missouri.
Statewide award recipients were as follows:
•· Lay Down the Law Award - Sgt. Dan Crain, Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I, Rolla.
•· Show-Me Safety Award - Dr. Lori Popejoy, University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, Columbia.
•· Tempe Humphrey Award - Pamella Holt, Mercy Hospital, Springfield.
•· Arrive Alive Award - Joe Rickman, MoDOT, Springfield.
Regional award recipients were as follows:
•· Northwest Region Arrive Alive Award - Northwest Missouri Regional Road Safety Audit Program.
•· Northwest Region Show-Me Safety Award - Richard Bradley, St. Joseph Police Department.
•· Northeast Region Arrive Alive Award - Chief Ed Bogue, City of Palmyra Police Department.
•· Northeast Region Show-Me Safety Award - Tana Akright, MoDOT.
•· Kansas City Region Arrive Alive Award - William "Rusty" James, MoDOT.
•· Kansas City Region Show-Me Safety Award - Think First of Greater Kansas City Young Traffic Offenders Program.
•· Central Region Arrive Alive Award - Matt Myers, SAIC.
•· Show-Me Safety Award - ThinkFirst Missouri.
•· St. Louis Region Arrive Alive Award - Highway Safety Unit, St. Louis County Police Department.
•· Southwest Region Arrive Alive Award - Peggy D. Davis, DWI Court Commissioner, Greene County.
•· Southwest Region Show-Me Safety Award - Rollover Crash Display, Southwest Coalition Executive Team.
•· Southeast Region Arrive Alive Award - Lt. John Davis, Cape Girardeau Police Department.
•· Southeast Region Show-Me Safety Award - Courtnie Glenn, Wright County Health Department.
Historically, the Blueprint identified strategies having the greatest potential to save more lives and reduce serious injuries. In 2012, the strategies are known as the Necessary Nine. Aggressive implementation of the Necessary Nine represents the greatest opportunity to save more lives. By passing a primary safety belt law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 63 additional lives would be saved each year. Expanding the number of miles of shoulders with rumble stripes, as well as the number of curves with safety improvements, should also lead to more lives being saved.
For more information on Missouri's Blueprint to SAVE MORE LIVES, go to saveMOlives.com. ARRIVE ALIVE.