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Highway Safety office to honor state trooper

Idaho State Police (ISP) troopers know all too well the dangers motorists face when confronted by a winter snowstorm, freezing rain or poor visibility. For Trooper Mark Todd, a wintertime triple-fatality crash prompted him to take matters into his own hands.

He stepped forward with a plan to help prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future, and in 2000 established the Winter Driving Workshop. For his life-saving efforts, Todd will receive certificates of appreciation from ITD’s Office of Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The certificates will be presented during the Winter Driving Workshop Saturday (Jan. 24) at 2 p.m. at the ISP office, 602 Prairie Avenue in Coeur d’ Alene.

“Trooper Todd has demonstrated outstanding leadership and initiative by developing this class,” said Neill Raymond of NHTSA. “His work is helping save lives and prevent serious injuries caused by traffic crashes.”

“Todd’s dedication to reducing crashes, his ongoing commitment to increasing seat belt use, and his devotion to educating the public about safety issues is to be commended,” said Mary Hunter, Idaho Office of Highway Safety.

Both Hunter and Raymond will be on hand for the presentations.

The event that precipitated Todd’s work claimed the lives of three members of the same family – a tragic crash that might have been prevented with the proper driving skills. A grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter were killed when their car hydroplaned on wet pavement.

“Three generations from one family gone in an instant – quite unnecessary,” Todd said.

“All crashes start with driver error. One fleeting moment behind the wheel can change everything. Protect yourself and your loved ones by applying common sense behind the wheel and buckling up for every trip.”