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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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Illinois State Police Recognized for Local Innovative, Lifesaving Roadway Safety Program

Press Release Date: November 14, 2007    || Archived April 29, 2008

Illinois one of 12 states to receive national award for efforts to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities

Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry G. Trent announced today that the ISP was recognized by the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for excellence and innovation in operations, planning and roadway design to reduce fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways. The Honorable Mention Award was presented during ceremonies held in Washington, D. C. for the ISP’s Tazewell County Teen Initiative.

“The roster of award winners represents the most dynamic and creative highway safety programs, and sets a standard for others to follow,” said Greg Cohen, Director of the Roadway Safety Foundation. “These projects help prevent traffic crashes and fatalities, and assist in fighting the national epidemic of nearly 43,000 road deaths and 3 million injuries that occur on our nation’s roadways every year.”

Roadway Safety Award recipients were evaluated on three criteria – innovation, effectiveness, and efficient use of resources. Program categories included infrastructure improvements, operational improvements and program planning, development and evaluation. The award recipients were selected from 61 entries received.

The Tazewell County Teen Initiative was developed to address the number of teenage drivers that died between March 2005 and July 2006 on Tazewell County roadways. During that time, 15 teenagers lost their lives, sparking a cry for action. The Illinois State Police District 8, along with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Tazewell County Sheriff and the Tazewell County Coroner, teamed up to form the multifaceted public awareness campaign targeted to schools, hospitals, emergency response teams, media and the private sector. Since the program was launched there have been no teen traffic fatalities in Tazewell County.

"Safety is the Federal Highway Administration’s top priority, and we know that this year’s award winners share that belief," said Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka. “By combining good roadway engineering, law enforcement, education and emergency services, our state partners are helping us to save lives.”

Roadway safety programs are a critical part of the nation’s solutions to saving lives and preventing injuries on our nation’s highways. Of the 42,642 people killed in traffic crashes on U.S. roads in 2006, nearly 60 percent of the fatalities (24,801) involved a departure from the roadway and 20 percent (8,797) were at an intersection or intersection-related (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2006 Annual Assessment of Motor Vehicle Crashes). The Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation present the bi-annual Roadway Safety Awards to programs and projects across the nation exhibiting excellence in roadway design, operations and planning. The RSF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable and educational organization solely dedicated to reducing the frequency and severity of motor vehicle crashes by improving the safety of America's roadways. For additional information on RSF please visit www.roadwaysafety.org. For additional information on FHWA safety programs please visit http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov.

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