ITD employees earn kudos for work on Impaired Driving Task Force
Impaired driving in Idaho remains a significant highway safety problem, so an Impaired Driving Task Force was created in February. Fatalities resulting from impaired-driving crashes increased in 2013 by 32 percent, and 45 percent of all fatalities resulted from impaired driving.
The 22-member task force, featuring four ITD employees (Amy Kearns, Eric Moody, Brent Jennings and Mary Burke), was created as a change agent. The effort began in 2012 with MAP-21, picked up speed in early 2013 as members were added and a strategic plan was being formalized, and the task force launched in Sept. 2013.
Since meeting with the Idaho Transportation Board in February, significant progress has been made. In recognition of that progress, Judge George Hicks sent letters of thanks in late October to Kearns and Moody for their assistance on the task force. Kearns is a program specialist for Driver Records and Moody is a hearing officer in Driver Services.
Hicks, an Elmore County magistrate judge and the chairman of the task force, wrote to both Eric and Amy, saying “your dedication and persistence puts us continuously closer to prevention and elimination of impaired driving in Idaho. The contribution of your time and energy will have a direct impact on the well-being of our communities and our great state. Thank you for your ideas, sharing your experiences, and for your willingness to contribute.”
To Moody he added: “I know you care deeply about the Task Force mission and your voice needs to be heard. Your perspective is unique and we need that. I look forward to continuing our efforts.”
To Kearns he added: “I really appreciate your willingness to shift your role and emphasis. Your contribution in knowledge and expertise in licensing is so important to our mission. Thanks.”
Drivers ages 17 to 34 are over-represented in impaired-driving crashes. Drivers 19 to 24 were the most over-represented; they are involved in more than twice as many impaired-driving crashes based on the number of licensed drivers on the road in that age group.
The estimated cost of Idaho impaired-driving crashes in 2013 was more than $749 million. Of the 96 persons killed in impaired-driving crashes last year, 92 (96 percent) were either the impaired driver, a person riding with an impaired driver, an impaired bicyclist or an impaired pedestrian.