Traffic Safety Commission, board to focus on ways to prevent
traffic fatalities on Idaho highways

The Idaho Traffic Safety Commission (ITSC) and Idaho Transportation Department will consider proposals to improve safety on Idaho’s highways when they meet in Boise Wednesday (Oct. 20).

They will look at safety concerns, plans, funding and outreach during the daylong meeting at the DoubleTree Riverside Hotel. The meeting, which is open to the public, will begin at 8 a.m.

The morning session will feature presentations to the ITSC by members of the Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety. Topics range from the changing traffic safety culture to a review of current traffic safety data, recent highway safety highlights, and approval of highway safety focus areas and funding.

Representatives from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) also will be on hand in support of Idaho’s highway safety efforts.

A special Safety Champion Award will be presented to Sheriff Roy C. Klingler and Lt. Cameron Stanford, Madison County. They will be recognized for leadership in developing a multi-agency effort to increase safety during traffic stops for motorists and law enforcement officers. Together, they have secured more than $525,000 in NHTSA grant funds to introduce electronic citation equipment in seven agencies throughout three southeast Idaho counties.

Afternoon activities at the safety workshop include a joint meeting of ITSC and the transportation board, beginning at 1 p.m. The first afternoon session will feature Pam Holt, a nurse and trauma prevention services coordinator for St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Springfield, Mo.

Holt provided a sobering account of the physics and physical consequences of high-speed motor vehicle crashes to more than 265 Idaho law enforcement officers, medical personnel and highway safety professionals as keynote speaker for the 2010 Highway Safety Summit in May, hosted by ITD.

Her return to Boise also will include assisting ITD in developing a new program for educating Idaho trauma prevention advocates who will serve as highway safety ambassadors within their communities. Their focus will be to support the department’s Towards Zero Deaths’ effort that seeks to eliminate motor vehicle fatalities.

The joint safety workshop will conclude with a series of presentations about important safety emphasis areas addressed in ITD’s new strategic highway safety plan,: lane departures, safety restraints, distracted driving, impaired driving and motorcycle safety.

The Idaho Traffic Safety Commission reviews traffic safety issues to reduce traffic-related deaths, serious injuries and economic losses, promote local and state cooperation and recommend programs for federal funding. The commission consists of 13 members including the chairs of the Idaho Senate Transportation Committee and the House Transportation and Defense Committee.

The Idaho Transportation Board is a citizen group appointed by the governor to serve Idahoans by addressing the state’s transportation needs and representing the interests and needs of the traveling public.

Published 10-15-2010