As Traffic Safety Committee chairman for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Park Ridge, IL, Deputy Chief Lou Jogmen spearheaded the inaugural Illinois Rail Safety Week in 2014. Mr. Jogmen, along with more than 300 independent police agencies, county sheriff departments, private firms and state agencies, worked to promote public awareness through education, enforcement and rail safety engineering advances.
The initiative was accomplished through volunteers, limited grant funding and coordinated efforts across the state. This model has been expanded to other campaigns in Illinois, including distracted driving awareness, and was used by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to pass a resolution in 2016 supporting the first National Rail Safety Week in September 2017.
Advice to Others: "A well planned and implemented communications strategy is key to marketing the issue and gaining the understanding and support of the public. Participants must own being part of the solution and must see themselves as a valued contributor. It is incumbent on program organizers to develop an esprit de corps among participants and for those participants to feel that the initiative would not be successful without their efforts."
Finalist: Tracey Holmberg
Tracey Holmberg is the injury prevention coordinator at Swedish Medical Center in Denver. Through a Department of Transportation grant, Ms. Holmberg piloted the "Just Drive" distracted driving program in 2015, reaching employees of SMC and individuals throughout the Denver area.
Offering train-the-trainer programs free of charge to anyone interested in attending, the "Just Drive" campaign has spread statewide and has not only resulted in increased individual awareness, but employer commitment to these training programs.
Advice to Others: "Since the distracted driving message is pretty much the same for all types of audiences, it is easy to modify the presentation so it can be used for schools, businesses, health groups, etc. without changing the knowledge piece of the presentation. Through train-the-trainer, the program is easy to implement into other agencies and communities, which leads to raising awareness to a greater number of people."
Finalist: Trenda McPherson
Trenda McPherson has worked for 12 years to improve roadways for motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists throughout Florida. Ms. McPherson led the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition, which launched in 2008 in response to numerous motorcycle fatalities on Florida roadways. Due to the work of Ms. McPherson and the coalition, fatalities decreased 30.3% between 2008 and 2010.
Starting in 2011, Ms. McPherson developed the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan, established the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Coalition to implement the plan, and adopted data-driven approaches to identify and implement safety measures. As a result, Florida moved from #1 in the nation for pedestrian fatalities to #5 in the first two years of the program.
Advice to Others: "Working in silos is counterproductive. You should never expect a coalition or team member to do something you wouldn't do. If you want your team to respect you and follow your lead, roll up your sleeves and lead by example."