Nearly 200 safety professionals and law enforcement officials gathered in Boise Thursday for the Idaho Highway Safety Summit. The summit was sponsored by the Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Traffic and Highway Safety (OTHS).
The event focused on ways to prevent fatal and serious injuries, and associated costs, resulting from traffic crashes. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 4-34.
Nationally recognized experts addressed traffic safety and enforcement topics such as impaired driving, aggressive driving enforcement and the use of safety restraints and seat belts.
“This summit is all about saving lives,” said Mark Strait of OTHS. “Aggressive driving and impaired driving are the biggest behavioral contributors to traffic crashes in Idaho. Buckling up remains the best defense against serious injury or death for you, and your passengers, if you’re involved in a crash.
“Working with law enforcement officers and highway safety partners to spread these messages is at the heart of the summit.”
Participants included representatives from the Idaho State Police, county sheriffs’ offices and local police departments, as well as 28 other agencies and organizations involved in safety issues.
Program highlights included:
Every day, five Idahoans are either killed or seriously injured in traffic crashes. Society at large pays 85 percent of the medical costs for those involved in crashes. These costs are passed on to the general public through insurance premiums, taxes and increased charges for medical services.
ITD received $435,000 in grant funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support the upcoming Click It, Don’t Risk It! education and enforcement campaign. The summit will serve to prepare the agencies for this and other upcoming enforcement events.