Carrollton Receives 2019 Municipal Traffic Safety Initiatives Award
The City of Carrollton Municipal Court received the 2019 Municipal Traffic Safety Initiatives Award for its expanded public education and community outreach efforts highlighting the effects of impaired driving.
The Texas Municipal Courts Education Center (TMCEC) and the Municipal Traffic Safety Initiatives (MTSI) project annually recognize those municipal courts that have demonstrated excellence in preventing impaired driving and improving traffic safety in their communities. Funded by the Texas Department of Transportation, the award is given based on the increased efforts to minimize impaired driving, traffic crashes, traffic fatalities, juvenile driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, and other impairment-related offenses.
“We are extremely proud to have received this award,” Carrollton Assistant City Attorney Rachael Carrico said. “Impaired driving is the number one charge filed by the Carrollton Police Department, and there has been an alarming increase in the number of DUI arrests of minors in the last three years. The Carrollton Municipal Court is working to change this trend with outreach through education.”
To address the trend, the City formed a Traffic Safety Initiative Team in 2018 to distribute educational materials at various community events. The large amount of free information available from TMCEC, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the 2Young2Drink initiative through the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC) enabled the team to distribute materials at numerous local venues with a minimum expense to the City.
Efforts included attending Creekview High School’s Red Ribbon Week in October which resulted in 254 students signing drive sober pledge cards; participating in Municipal Court Week in November that reached 60 third grade McCoy Elementary students with age-appropriate messages and materials; holding impaired driving simulator and impairment goggles demonstrations at the City’s Festival at the Switchyard where the team distributed hundreds of drive sober bracelets; volunteering as attorney advisers for Newman Smith High School’s 2019 Texas High School Mock Trial Competition; and making presentations to Hispanic families of all age groups at Spanish-speaking Coffee with a Cop and UNIDOS community engagement meetings.
Additionally, the City began utilizing the Reality Education for Drivers (RED) program for young offenders ages 14-25 and their parents. The RED program is taught by local hospital staff who use research-based tools and a behind-the-scenes tour of a hospital to assist young drivers with driving secure, silent (free from distractions), and sober.
Carrico said the team works tirelessly to increase awareness and believes their efforts will have an impact on the community now and in the future. Receiving the MTSI Award at the 2019 Traffic Safety Conference held March 25-27 in Houston is just one step in an ongoing effort to expand awareness of the effects that drugs and alcohol have on a person’s motor skills and cognitive decision-making ability.
Carrollton Municipal Court further extended these efforts by launching the Drugs. Booze. Drive. Lose. campaign aimed at educating the entire Carrollton community.
For more information about the Carrollton Municipal Court, call 972-466-3348 or visit cityofcarrollton.com/courts.