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Program Summary

Traffic Safety Board
Eoin Wrafter, Commissioner

 

William Johnson, Administrator

The Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board (DCTSB) is a coalition of law enforcement, education, health and service agencies and individuals committed to ensuring that our streets, sidewalks, and residents remain safe.

The major activities of the Traffic Safety Board in 2014 included:

  • Educating the public about safe driving, bicycling, and walking habits. Programming focused on aggressive driving, the special needs of mature/older drivers, and proper bicycling and pedestrian behaviors and safety.

  • Support of local law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of crashes and injuries  related to excessive speed and aggressive driving behaviors. Focus also includes support of occupant restraint compliance enforcement to increase compliance with New York State seat belt laws and the click it – or ticket campaign.

  • Provided training opportunities in proper child passenger safety seat installations, coordinated seat check events, and distributed required materials throughout the County in an effort to improve the safety of our youngest residents.

  • Managed the organization and dissemination of traffic and crash statistics from police agencies throughout the County.

  • Distribution of educational information and safety equipment (bicycle helmets, reflective materials, car seats) to County residents in support of on-going education and safety programs.

The Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board (DCTSB) was awarded $159,430 in grant funding for “2014” through the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC).
This grant funding compares to totals of $151,303 in 2013, $145,287 in 2012, $297,371 in 2011, $283,077 in 2010, $262,082 in 2009, $215,197 in 2008, $219,226 in 2007, $170,398 in “06”, $159,280 in “05”, $222,885 in “04”, $210,000 in “03”, $185,833 in “02”, and $85,000 in “2001”.

At the conclusion of the 2014 grant cycle the DCTSB has submitted claims/vouchers totaling $148,786 to the GTSC for related grant projects, leaving a balance of $10,243 unrealized. The DCTSB was awarded grant funding from the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in three (3) grant areas.

*Programming activities are outlined for each grant.

Police Traffic Services: (PTS)

The DCTSB was fortunate to receive grant monies totaling $88,010 to participate in a new grant program entitled Police Traffic Services (PTS). The enforcement grant is comprised of two operational components; occupant restraint compliance and unsafe driving enforcement focusing on speeding, aggressive driving, red light running, unsafe lane change, failure to yield, and following too closely. Data reveals these continue to be the most dominate contributing factors in Dutchess County crashes.

The Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board's (DCTSB) "PTS" Block grant  provided allocations to eleven (11) law enforcement agencies/municipalities. Grant funding as dertermined by GTSC was again performance based and focused on each agency's previous productivity, ability to spend allocations, and accurate/timely submission of required reporting.

Consolidated data from the 2014 Police Traffic Services program reveals participating agencies countywide conducted occupant restraint compliance enforcement that yeilded 344 hours of combined enforcement details, resulting in the issuance of 400 seat belt tickets (344 drivers, 39 passengers, 17 children) and citations for 128 other V&T violations. 

Aggressive/Unsafe Driving enforcement details yielded an additional 1,204 hours of combined enforcement resulting in the issuance of 1,022 speed related citations, 373 tickets for aggressive driving, 160 cell phone, and 511 other V&T violations.

The Police Traffic Services (PTS) program was successful in Dutchess County and resulted in good productivity. Participating agencies were required to submit reporting/ticket data along with any billings/claims.

Allocations were awarded and claims/vouchers were processed and submitted to GTSC totaling $83,825 leaving unrealized balance totaling $4,185.

Child Passenger Safety Grant: (CPS)

The Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board's (DCTSB) Child Passenger Safety programming remains on schedule and continues to be successful. The DCTSB received grant funding totaling $17,500 and submitted claims totaling $13,542 to GTSC for reimbursement leaving $3,958 unrealized.

The DCTSB continues to take the leadership role with the Dutchess County CPS Coalition. As the coalition continues to meet we hope to draw in other agencies/members to enhance programming county wide. With 15 fitting stations located throughout the county the coalition offers a venue to coordinate activities, enhance communications, and share information and resources.

The established list-serve address http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dutchessCPS continues to be instrumental is sharing information, and to keep members aware of developments, events, and other activities. The CPS program in Dutchess County continues to meet challenges brought about by limitations/restrictions of support based on organizational budget and resource constraints of participating agencies, partners, and respective technicians.

The DCTSB and the nine (9) fitting stations covered under the “block” grant have been limited to conducting “in-house” inspections/installations.  Due to budget restraints and manpower issues the collective opportunity to conduct multi agency seat check events has vanished. Each of the TSBs fitting stations were provided with PI&E materials which were distributed by CPS technicians to parents and caregivers. Multiple press releases were distributed regarding the CPS program, fitting station contact information, and National Car Seat Check Saturday.

The DCTSB purchased/distributed child safety seats throughout the program year through the fitting stations covered under the “block” grant. Seat check event flyers, fitting station location cards, and a variety of educational materials were reproduced, purchased, and distributed throughout the grant cycle.

Data collected county-wide from all the CPS fitting stations reveals that more than 1,301 child safety seats were inspected and installed, and 401 seats were distributed to parents/families in need in the 2014 grant cycle. When compared to previous year’s data there is evidence of continued programmatic decline due to the organizational challenges faced by the respective fitting stations/technicians. This however does not diminish the need and value of the program within the community.

2013 1,221 inspections/installations, 365 replaced 
2012 1,530 inspections, 524   replaced
2011 1,263 inspections, 398   replaced
2010 1,710 inspections, 695   replaced
2009 1,836 inspections, 579   replaced
2008 1,874 inspections, 607   replaced
2007 2,222 inspections, 547   replaced
2006 2,277 inspections, 494   replaced
2005 2.506 inspections, 547   replaced
2004 2,101 inspections, 539+ replaced
2003 1,793 inspections, 309   replaced
2002 1,303 inspections, 311+ replaced 
2001  429  inspections,   85   replaced


Since 2001 the Dutchess CPS Coalition has collectively inspected & installed more than 23,366 Child Safety seats and replaced more than 6,401.


Enforcement & Injury Prevention Grant:

The Dutchess County Traffic Safety Board's (DCTSB) Enforcement and Injury Prevention grant entitled “Comprehensive Approach to Community Based Injury & Crash Prevention” was funded at $53,520. All programming and related grant activities were successful and claims were submitted to GTSC totaling $51,419, leaving an ubnrealized total of $2,101.

Related programming activities are summarized.

Bicycle / Helmet Safety:
Helmets were purchased from Bell Sports through the National SAFE Kids coalition and have been distributed throughout the grant cycle. Approximately, 300 helmets were purchased/distributed in many venues throughout the County to both children and adults in need. Many positive contacts were made, the majority with youth.  These venues offer opportunities to share and encourage healthy and safe pedestrian and bicycling habits.

The DCTSB also conducted/supported bicycle/helmet safety presentations at various elementary schools and after school programs, and summer recreation programs  throughout the County. The DCTSB has become an acknowledged community resource and coordinates helmet safety presentations, fittings, and safety skills events.

The DCTSB organized, conducted/supported 8 Bicycle Safety Rodeos in various municipalities, elementary schools, and summer camps throughout the County, including on the approch to the Walkway over the Hudson. Additionally, mutiple scheduled events were cancelled due to inclement weather. The Bicycle Safety trailer, and all essential materials is loaned to interested parties (law enforcement agencies, schools, PTA’s, municipal recreational summer camp programs, and other community groups) to assist with presentations and skill events. Bicycle helmets, as well as educational and reflective safety materials were distributed to children (and parents) that participated or were in need.

The DCTSB has also developed a guide entitled "Organizing a Bicycle Safety Rodeo" to encourage use of the bicycle safety trailer and to assist interested parties with conducting successful rodeos.

Mature/Older Driver Education Program:

Public information and educational materials were purchased for our Mature/Older Driver Education Program. These materials relating to older mature driver mobility and handicapped parking were distributed throughout the County at a multitude of senior related events including Health and Safety Fairs,  AARP presentations at a local mall and hospital, and through the Dutchess County Office of the Aging (OFA) community senior picnics held throughout the summer.

The DCTSB continues collaboration with the Office for the Aging to identify opportunities to raise awareness of resources available to assist seniors regarding mobility concerns. The OFA senior picnics provide great opportunities to share information to concerned seniors and their care givers about safe driving and handicapped parking issues. This year there was also a successful partnership with the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office providing opportunities for senior picnic attendies to safely dispose of unused, unwanted prescription medications. The Sheriff’s Office also distributed Older/Mature driving PI&E materials at the Dutchess County Fair.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Campaign:

The DCTSB continues to work in partnership with the local Smart-Rider Motorcycle Safety Program, and the Dutchess County Sheriffs Office to distribute PI&E materials to educate both motorcycle riders and motorists about their respective roles in motorcycle safety. The intent of the program is to raise general awareness and to promote use of approved helmets and rider safety gear, as well as to promote training opportunities available. Seasonal press releases were distributed focusing on the risks, responsibilities, and respective safety tips for motorcyclists and vehicle drivers.

School Bus Safety Education Campaign:

The DCTSB continues to provide support for a School Bus Safety awareness/education campaign. Additional copies of a video (identified after an extensive search for a quality educational video aimed at elementary age students) entitled “School Bus Safety for Kids” (produced by Video Communications) were purchased and distributed along with coloring books throughout school districts in the County. School resource and district transportation safety members were provided the materials (including teaching guides) to conduct awareness presentations with students grade K – 5. Related PI & E materials were also distributed at various safety events and presentations conducted throughout the year. There continues to be a strong partnerships between the Mid Hudson Transportation Supervisors Association and the Dutchess and Ulster County TSB’s to address issues and raise awareness and address issues relating to school bus transportation throughout the region.

An award plaque was also purchased for the thirteenth annual Dutchess County “School Bus Driver of the Year” award. The award program was expanded to include Ulster County seven years ago and respective awards were presented at Operation Safe STOP Press conferences held at the Roy C. Ketchum High School, Wappingers CSD, and the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center in Kingston, NY.  The winners were selected by the Awards Committee and membership of the Mid Hudson Chapter of the Transportation Supervisor’s Association.

Dutchess County’s 13th annual award was presented to Mr. Charles Albertson, Wappingers CSD, and a model school bus driver for over 9 years.  Mr. Albertson is a dedicated professional and his exemplary safety record and commitment to school bus safety was acknowledged and recognized.

Multiple press releases were issued to raise awareness of the program, “Operation Safe Stop”, and the award winners.  This program continues to be a great collaborative effort which includes local law enforcement, the Mid Hudson Chapter of the Pupil Transportation Supervisors Association, and the Dutchess and Ulster County Traffic Safety Boards.


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