Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The towns of Iva, Newberry and Mount Pleasant were named Grand Winners for the 2013 South Carolina Traffic Safe Communities by the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety in a ceremony on Nov. 19, at Seawell’s Catering in Columbia.
The three join a total of 15 localities recognized for efforts made in traffic safety over the past year during the 10th annual Traffic Safe Communities awards luncheon.
Winners were chosen for communities under 10,000 in population, those with 10,000 to 30,000 residents and towns and cities with more than 30,000 in population.
“The AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety continues to tackle the deadly practice of texting while driving, especially among teen drivers, a group who has grown up continuously connected to cell phones and computers,” said Angela Vogel Daley, president of AAA Carolinas Traffic Safety Foundation. “AAA Carolinas’ goal is to create a culture change among teens concerning texting while driving.”
The AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety provides awards in an effort to recognize those cities that make a strong effort to make our state’s roads safer.
One of the highlights of the ceremony was repeat Grand Winner Newberry, which has won the 10,000-30,000 population category seven out of 10 years. Additionally, only two communities have been in the top five for their population category every year - Newberry and Goose Creek.
Colonel Leroy Taylor, Deputy Director of the South Carolina State Transportation Police, and Phil Riley, from the South Carolina Office of Highway Safety, congratulated and honored local law enforcement and community representatives.
More about the Grand Winners:
• Town of Mount Pleasant, Charleston County (Population greater than 30,000).
Mount Pleasant has been recognized as a Traffic Safe Community for nine out of 10 years; it was the Grand Winner in 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The town recently enacted a no texting while driving ordinance and they visit the local schools to educate teens about the dangers of texting while driving. Mount Pleasant also operates under the TIPs program to prevent bars from over-serving alcohol.
• Town of Newberry, Newberry County (Population between 10,000 and 30,000).
Newberry has received a Traffic Safe Community award every year and has won Grand Winner in 2005 - 2008, 2010 and again in 2012. The town visits local apartment complexes, church groups and school groups to learn where the problem areas are in the town and uses that information to focus their efforts. Newberry also organized “Prom Promise” at local high schools with a live mock DUI collision scene.
• Town of Iva, Anderson County (Population less than 10,000).
This is Iva’s first year as a Traffic Safe Community Grand Winner. The town appeared in the top five for its population for the first time last year. For Iva, safety fairs are a top priority. They are heavily involved with their local schools and they set up booths at town events to promote traffic safety. They also regularly perform safety and speed checks.
The foundation recognized 12 other communities with Outstanding Traffic Safe Community awards for leadership in traffic safety including: (* repeat winners)
Population greater than 30,000:
Goose Creek* (Berkeley County)
Sumter* (Sumter County)
Summerville* (Dorchester County)
Rock Hill* (York County)
Population between 10,000 and 30,000:
Port Royal* (Beaufort County)
Hanahan* (Berkeley County)
Mauldin* (Greenville County)
Simpsonville* (Greenville County)
Population less than 10,000:
Lynchburg* (Lee County)
Isle of Palms* (Charleston County)
Elloree* (Orangeburg County)
Lake View (Dillon County)
AAA Traffic Safe Communities are selected by looking at crash statistics, number of law enforcement officers per capita, and presence of a formal traffic safety program and/or existence of a special traffic division. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte provided the statistical analysis and the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety chose winners in each category giving extra emphasis to those communities that are proactive in enhancing traffic safety efforts.