OSWEGO, NY ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ The Oswego County Traffic Safety Board recognized six people Wednesday from the county for their efforts in traffic safety.
This includes child passenger safety, bike safety, bus safety, pedestrian safety, and more.
Established in November of 1995, the Oswego County Traffic Board, a division of Integrated Community Planning, strives to promote highway traffic and pedestrian safety.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOur mission is to protect the public from traffic injuries related to bike and helmet, pedestrian, and alcohol use,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Traffic Safety Board Coordinator, Billie Crandall-Brady. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe do this by analyzing and studying traffic data and developing safety programs for both public and private agencies.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The board is comprised of a combination of community members and local law enforcement officials including members of the Oswego County SheriffÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Department, SUNY Oswego University Police, and both the Oswego and Fulton police departments.
The recipients included:
Officer Mike Henderson, Oswego PD
Chris Sharkey, Oswego City School District
Deputy Ken Fletcher, Sheriff’s Department
Mary Kimball, Phoenix School District
Lt. Kevin Velzy, SUNY Oswego
Sgt. Joe Pappalardo, Fulton PD
There are more than 5,000 bicycle accidents a year, 50 percent of those involve riders without helmets, according to Brandy Koproski, the events coordinator for the Oswego County Traffic Safety Board. Fifteen percent of the fatal accidents involve those between the ages of 10 and 17, she pointed out
The worst day for pedestrians is Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m., she added.
The board has helped install hundreds of child safety seats and distributed thousands of helmets over the years, she said.
Brady introduced the award winners.
“We’re honoring six people today. Honestly, it could have been 25 people,” she said. “These six have really exemplified the message of traffic safety. They make Oswego County look pretty darn good.”
Sharkey is a tireless supporter of traffic safety, Brady said. As her “other personality,” (Henrietta Know-It-All) she teaches elementary children about bus safety.
Velzy was cited for his work with bicycle safety and child car seat safety.
Henderson was also honored for his work inspecting and installing child safety seats.
Besides being a safety technician, Fletcher also conducts open houses at the Oswego County Public Safety Center, Brady said.
Pappalardo is such a resource for the board; he is always there to help them out, Brady said.
“I’m just guessing, he’s given out over 800 safety helmets in the years that I’ve worked with him. You look at the size of Fulton and all those helmets that he’s given out, I think he’s got them on babies in strollers ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ little old ladies with walkers have helmets!” Brady said.
Kimball puts together the child passenger safety events for the board, Brady said.
“She knows where there’s a need, and she looks to fill it,” Brady said.
One such need was teaching young students what to do in case their bus crashed.
Kimball went to great lengths, including fundraising and a second mortgage on her house, to purchase a ‘school bus’ that simulates rollovers.
She has made it available for fire departments, police departments, schools, and others for training purposes and to raise awareness.
The safety of the children riding school buses is obviously a priority for her, she noted.
“It is rolled over on its side and mounted to a frame,” Kimball said. “It simulates what it’s like for passengers in a bus crash.”
At each table were small toy ducks at each place setting to remind everyone “not to duck safety.”
A child age one year or younger must be rear facing; a child one year old who weighs 20 pounds or more can be forward facing, and children who weigh at least 40 pounds can use a booster seat in the back seat.
Those passengers age 12 years and younger must ride in the backseat, and anyone riding in a car under the age of 16 who ride in either the front or back seats must wear a seatbelt.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œProper installation of child safety seats is a real problem. Statistics have shown that 90% of child care seats are not properly installed and can lead to unnecessary injuries,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Brady.
The Traffic Safety Board was supported with funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. Representing the committee Wednesday was Paul Overbaugh.
Anyone who would like additional information or a presentation on Child Passenger Safety may call Brady at Oswego County Traffic Safety at 343-2344 or email questions to [email protected]