Dan at a NYC Press Conference

Dr. Runge Helps Tri-State Partners Thank “Traffic Safety Heroes”

By Ann Burton, Region II

December 18, 2001. New York, New York. NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey Runge, MD, assisted the Tri-State Partners in honoring the heroic efforts of the metropolitan New York enforcement and emergency response professionals. In a special press event held at the Kimberly Hotel in New York City, words of praise and a request to thank honorees by driving sober and driving safe this holiday season went out to the public. As a token of appreciation, holiday wreaths inscribed with “Traffic Safety Heroes” were given to representatives from the New York City Police, the Wantagh-Levettown EMS, and New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut State Police to share with their fellow workers.


Pictured from left to right: Sgt. David A. Salmon and Sgt. Daniel Larkin, New York State Police; Jeffrey Runge, M.D., NHTSA Administrator; Raymond P. Martinez, Commissioner, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Chair, Governor Pataki’s Traffic Safety Committee; Robert M. Dingman, Assistant Commissioner, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles; Trooper Dwayne Grant, New York State Police.

The event, moderated by Tom Louizou, Regional Administrator, was part of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month activities. Dr. Runge expressed his personal appreciation to New York’s heroes and encouraged all drivers to remain sober during the holiday season. Additional remarks from the Tri-State Partnership Governor’s Representatives, Commissioner Raymond Martinez (NY), Colonel Peter O’Hagan (NJ), Susan Maloney (CT), Deputy Chief James Hegarty of the NYPD Traffic Control Division, and host Fraydun Manocherian, Founder and President of the National Road Safety Foundation, focused on responsibility, both to ourselves and to our friends. Honorees expressed their heartfelt thanks, but were also in agreement with Sgt. Paul Blanda of the New Jersey Police when he said, “the best thanks I could have is to never knock on a door during a holiday celebration to tell a family that a loved one has been killed by a drunk driver.”

The press event is one of many activities conducted by the Tri-State Partnership, which was developed to increase penetration of the tough metropolitan New York media market and to broaden partnerships with both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Now in it’s seventh year, the campaign has made traffic safety a prominent issue and is an important part of comprehensive efforts to make roadways safer for all tri-state users. Several critical partners were recognized for their commitment; included were Long Island Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, Babies and Children’s Hospital, Harlem Hospital, and Hackensack University Medical Center.

For further information about the Tri-State Partnership, contact Tom Louizou, Region II Administrator, at 914-628-6162.

U.S. Department of Transportation,  NHTSA/NOW 
Volume 8, No. 1, January 11, 2002