DOL staff receive statewide traffic safety awards

September 30, 2010

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission has honored DOL staff members for going beyond their job duties and making outstanding contributions to traffic safety.

Tana Cochran, manager of the Driver Training School Program, won in the category of Young Drivers. She has made major improvements to the parents’ guidebook for teaching youth driving skills, coordinates a large yearly driver education training conferences for driver training instructors and has developed new ways to gather and analyze DOL data to help minimize teen driver collisions.

Bruce Chunn and Haiping Zhang’s Predictive Model Research Project won an award also in the category of Young Drivers. The project was created to research and create a predictive model for at-risk drivers. The project researched Washington driving records looking for a predictor of future collisions and correlation between traffic violations not including a collision, and the increasing probability of collisions. The project concluded that an individual who recently received their first traffic violation is twice as likely to have a collision, and 16 to 19 year-old drivers have approximately twice the risk of older drivers. As a result of the project’s conclusions, DOL has expanded the use of warning letters as an early intervention system for 18 to 19 year-old drivers who receive their first traffic violation.

Tony Sermonti and Mark Horner and their work with the statewide Text-Talk-Ticket campaign won in the category of Distracted Driving. Lead by DOL and the State Patrol, the campaign was a public awareness campaign preceding the new ‘primary offense’ cell phone law. The campaign designed and presented a new logo and slogan for distracted driving, Talk-Text-Ticket. The campaign included well-attended media events, a Seattle morning news show tour by DOL director Liz Luce, a video public service announcement, driver training school outreach and a tour of high schools and the Puyallup Fair with a vehicle involved in a fatal distracted driving collision. The kickoff message on April 30, 2010 reached more than 600,000 households, and the public service announcement received more than 500,000 unique visitors per month.


Car in texting fatal crash on display at state capitol

May 5, 2010

by Mark Horner

“I’m getting chills as I read this.”

Those words this morning from one passerby as she paused to look at a mangled car and read the story on a nearby poster.

The car was driven by 19-year-old Heather Lerch earlier this year.  Her parents say Heather was texting when the vehicle left the road and struck a guardrail, killing the young woman instantly.  The February 23rd crash unfolded shortly before 10:30pm on Littlerock Road in Thurston County.

The vehicle is one of numerous displays on the plaza of the Capitol Campus in Olympia today where Public Service Recognition Week is being recognized.

The Department of Licensing recently produced two videos about Heather’s story.  A new state law concerning cell phones takes effect June 10.  The law makes texting while driving a primary offense.  It also makes using a hand-held cell for phone calls while driving a primary offense.


Video highlights great source for teen drivers

August 10, 2009

 

Short, sweet & simple.  Our latest YouTube video shows how some great info for teen drivers is just a click away!


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