2020 Press Release for John T
Hampton Roads, VA 

The annual John T. Hanna Awards, presented by Drive Safe Hampton Roads, recognized six

local individuals and groups for outstanding performance in the area of traffic safety. This year’s recipients included local law enforcement and city departments, communication teams, and a high school teacher. The awards were presented in January 2021.

Drive Safe Hampton Roads is a regional coalition comprised of safety advocates from local law enforcement and fire safety divisions, corporations, the military, state, city and county government, and other individuals. For 33 years, Drive Safe Hampton Roads has been dedicated to preventing crashes, injuries, and fatalities on the region’s roadways.

The awards were given in the following categories: Traffic Safety Activism, Fire/Emergency Medical services, Impaired Driving Prevention, Youth Traffic Safety, and Messaging/Media

The 2020 John T. Hanna Award Recipients are as follows:

(additional information is available at https://www.drivesafehr.org/get-involved/john-t-hanna-awards/)

Martin H. Schlosser Award for Traffic Safety Activism award is presented for outstanding efforts in educating citizens and changing attitudes and behavior regarding transportation safety.

The winner of this award is CellGuardians by MI Technical Solutions.

CellGuardians is a tech solution for a tech challenge in road safety. CellGuardians is a customizable Android app that automatically turns on and disables selected distracting apps. Once installed on an Android phone, it is a visual reminder to not be tempted to use your phone until the vehicle stops and/or the user intentionally selects to exit the protected mode. The simplicity of blocking all apps breaks the habit of needing to use the cellphone while driving. When installed, CellGuardians can save lives and lower the costs associated with distracted driving crashes. MI Technical Solutions, Inc. fully funded the development and release of the CellGuardians Android app. As a private company, the R&D section creates tech solutions for public health, safety, and security of the community.

A new free version of CellGuardians 2.0 is available for download. It blocks all those distracting apps while the phone is in motion. Download CellGuardians Free on Google Play Store in the spring of 2021.

More information at www.CellGuardians.com.

Fire/Emergency Medical Services award is presented for actions at crash scenes or for activities or efforts that have a broader impact on improving at-scene safety and/or survivability and injury reduction for victims.

The winner of this award is VDOT Hampton Roads District.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Hampton Roads District realized a need to promote safety messaging. The agency’s Communications team planned a media availability coinciding with National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week (Nov. 10-16, 2019), which highlights the role played by responders, drivers, and passengers in safe traffic incident management. An Incident Management Coordinator shared incidents that demonstrated the positive outcomes that can result when everyone plays their role during a traffic incident. The goal of the media event, to have three local news outlets report the story to their audiences, was exceeded. Representatives from all three local TV news outlets along with The Daily Press and Suffolk News-Herald papers were in attendance. The event was held free of charge at VDOT's Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel facility.

Impaired Driving Prevention award is presented for encouraging the prevention of drunk, drugged, drowsy, and/or drugged driving.

The joint winners of this award are Coastal Ride and Norfolk Police Department.

Norfolk Police Department and Coastal Ride partnered for the front half of a Chevrolet Impala taxi to be

painted like a standard police car, but the back half was painted like a Coastal Ride taxi with the words “Safe Ride” on the side. Further decaling was added to show the difference in the average cost of a taxi ride home ($15) to the cost of a DUI charge ($8,100). The message, “Choose Your Ride”, was a big visual incentive to not drink and drive!

High visibility was achieved by putting it at several major intersections of the City. Half Cab/Half Cop Car’s visibility achieved between 24,000 and 64,000 views per weekday alone. The police taxi was utilized at DUI checkpoints and placed. on display at various locations and events throughout the city. The police taxi serves as a rolling billboard to discourage people from drinking and driving. It does not operate as a standard police car, and it doesn't work as a taxi.

Youth Traffic Safety award is presented to persons or programs educating youth and spreading the message on the importance of youth traffic safety.

The winner of this award is Kim Baylor.

Kim Baylor planned and hosted a Teen Driver Safety Education event during school hours on October 29 and October 30, 2019. This program was designed to educate and give students experiences needed to be a safe driver. Invitations were extended to various community groups. These organizations were tasked with providing educational activities, giving students the tools and resources for safe driving. Approximately 580 students participated in this two-day event. The teen students were separated in multiple groups and rotated through each station. This well thought out event was held with the support of Granby High School and located on the grounds of the local Greek Orthodox Church. Organizations participating in this event were Virginia State Police Troopers, representatives from AAA Tidewater Virginia, and YOVASO, as well as three PE/Health teachers.

Messaging/Media awards are presented to individuals or organizations that have created messaging, used an innovative outreach method, or have helped spread the word about traffic safety through reporting or programming.

This award goes to the Chesapeake Public Works Traffic Engineering Division.

The City of Chesapeake Public Works Department’s Traffic Engineering Division employs fixed variable message signs (VMS) along seven major thoroughfares in the city of Chesapeake to alert drivers of important traffic information, including construction detours, accidents, road closures, weather impacts, hurricane evacuations, and traffic safety education. The Traffic Engineering team works to employ engaging messaging, using mild humor and pop culture references, to capture the attention of motorists and increase the effectiveness of messaging. The signs are placed along corridors that intersect and feed into interstate systems. The signs allow the Department to keep drivers informed of breaking traffic alerts to help them navigate through peak travel congestion and avoid trouble spots.

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