CHARLOTTE, NC (Feb. 4, 2013) – The towns of Elloree, Newberry and Goose Creek were named Grand Winners for the South Carolina Traffic Safe Communities for 2012 by the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety in a ceremony on January 31, 2013 at Seawell’s Catering in Columbia.
The three join a total of 15 localities recognized for efforts made in traffic safety over the past year during the ninth-annual Traffic Safe Communities awards luncheon.
Winners were chosen for communities under 10,000 in population, those with 10,000 to 30,000 residents, and towns and cities with more than 30,000 in population.
“One of the major issues the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety is tackling this year is texting while driving, with a strong focus on teen drivers, a group who has grown up continuously connected to cell phones and computers,” said Angela Vogel Daley, Public Relations Manager for AAA Carolinas. “AAA Carolinas’ goal is to create a culture change among teens concerning texting while driving.”
The AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety provides awards in an effort to recognize those cities that make a strong effort to make our state’s roads safer.
One of the highlights of the ceremony was repeat Grand Winner Newberry, which has won the 10,000-30,000 population category six out of nine years.
Colonel Michael Oliver, commander of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and Phil Riley, from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, congratulated and honored local law enforcement and community representatives.
More about the Grand Winners:
- Town of Goose Creek, Berkeley County (Population greater than 30,000).
Goose Creek has been recognized as a Traffic Safe Community for eight years; it was the Grand Winner in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The town analyzed collision data for a 14-day timeframe and developed an action plan to reduce collisions. It was also awarded a Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic vehicle specifically used for DUI enforcement.
- Town of Newberry, Newberry County (Population between 10,000 and 30,000).
Newberry has received a Traffic Safe Community award every year and won Grand Winner 2005 – 2008 and again in 2010. The town conducted traffic safety events to speak to local schools and civic groups about dangers of impaired driving, speeding, distracted driving and the proper use of seat belts and child safety seats. The town also organized “Prom Promise” at local high schools with a live mock DUI collision scene.
- Town of Elloree, Orangeburg County (Population less than 10,000).
This was Elloree’s third year as a Traffic Safe Community. The town won Grand Winner once before in 2009. The town gave out safety pamphlets and demonstrated correct driving behavior to educate motorists. They also implemented traffic safety checkpoints every six weeks.
The foundation recognized 12 other communities with Outstanding Traffic Safe Community awards for leadership in traffic safety including: (* repeat winners)
Population greater than 30,000:
- Rock Hill* (York County)
- Summerville* (Dorchester County)
- Spartanburg* (Spartanburg County)
- Charleston* (Charleston County)
Population between 10,000 and 30,000:
- Mauldin* (Greenville County)
- Port Royal* (Beaufort County)
- Easley (Pickens County)
- Irmo* (Lexington and Richland Counties)
Population less than 10,000:
- Due West* (Abbeville County)
- Isle of Palms* (Charleston County)
- Iva (Anderson County)
- Lynchburg* (Lee County)
AAA Traffic Safe Communities are selected by looking at crash statistics, number of law enforcement officers per capita, and presence of a formal traffic safety program and/or existence of a special traffic division. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte provided the statistical analysis and the AAA Carolinas Foundation chose winners in each category giving extra emphasis to those communities that are proactive in enhancing traffic safety efforts.
The AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety is a non-profit organization founded by AAA Carolinas and funded by AAA Carolinas’ member contributions that works to promote traffic safety initiatives in North and South Carolina.
Photos of each award recipient are available below (pictured with Jim Cantey).