Police: Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge and National Law Enforcement Challenge
Motor vehicle injury affects all Americans. Each year, traffic crashes in the United States claim over 40,000 lives and cost Americans $150 billion in economic costs. However, far more people are injured and survive than die, sometimes with lifelong debilitating results. Over 3.4 million injures were documented in police-reported crashes this year. While the personal pain and suffering, the loss of a loved one, and serious injury to a family member cannot be measured, each person in America bears the economic burden of crashes at a cost of about $580.00 a year. America's law enforcement community must set ambitious goals for traffic safety enforcement and education. We have unprecedented opportunities to impact on the number of lost lives, serious injuries, and spiraling emergency services and health care cost and the national seat belt use rate. We must accept the challenge, set far-reaching goals, and go beyond the norm if we are to have a significant impact on the lives of every American.
The Hoffman Estates Police Department participates in numerous state and national highway safety campaigns to help make the roadways safer for our residents and motoring public. Over the last 17 years, the department has been the recipient of many state and national awards recognizing our commitment to traffic and highway safety.
Two programs that have recognized the department are the Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge, managed by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) and the National Law Enforcement Challenge, managed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The Hoffman Estates Police Department has been recognized with over 20 awards from these two agencies alone.
Both programs recognize law enforcement agencies for their commitment to highway safety and saving lives. Applications for these programs are extensive and require the agency to submit information relative to the following categories:
1. Policies and Procedures – does the agency have written policies making traffic safety a priority?
2. Officer Training – does the agency continue to train officers every year in critical highway safety issues?
3. Recognition – does the agency recognize their officers who show a high degree of commitment to these priorities? Does the agency recognize motorists who survived traffic crashes because they were wearing their safety belt?
4. Public Information and Education – how does the agency educate residents and motorists on the critical highway safety issues – speeding, impaired driving and seat belt use?
5. Enforcement – what is the enforcement data for the agency/
6. Effectiveness – how effective was the agency in reducing deaths and injuries in crashes, increasing seat belt use, getting motorists to slow down, use designated drivers, etc?