Mayor Keith A. James receives special recognition for safety efforts; Vision Zero team and collaborators also recognized.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (May 29, 2019) –
On Thursday, May 23, the City of West Palm Beach received 11 notable awards at the Safety Council of Palm Beach County’s 34th
Annual Distinguished Service Awards Luncheon. The awards are hosted by the Council’s Traffic Safety Committee of the Palm Beaches, whose goal is to influence traffic safety and make changes where necessary. Mayor Keith A. James was given a “Special Recognition” award for his service to the City and support of the City’s newly launched Vision Zero program. Representatives from the West Beach Police Department, West Palm Beach Fire Rescue, Vision Zero West Palm Beach, in addition to the entire Vision Zero Task Force, also received awards. The luncheon included notable remarks from Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg and Representative Emily Slosberg (District 91), who just successfully championed Florida House Bill 107, which makes texting while driving a primary offense. Rep. Slosberg also gave special recognition to Mayor James in her address.
“It is an honor to be recognized among the men and women who are on the front lines of traffic safety in our community,” said Mayor James. “Safety is a top priority for my administration, and I am grateful for the efforts of our West Palm Beach Police Department, West Palm Beach Fire Rescue, West Palm Beach Vision Zero and all of our partner agencies that make up our Vision Zero Task Force. Through collaboration, we continue to make our City streets safer for all users, as shown in recent data reports.”
Vision Zero West Palm Beach recently released data reflecting an almost 3 percent decline in crashes overall and a more than 30 percent decline in crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists in areas in which the City has already started improvements, when compared to the first quarter of 2018.
The Vision Zero initiative received a $40,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) earlier this year. The grant was awarded to the West Palm Beach Police Department for pedestrian and bicycle enforcement, with a goal to increase awareness of and compliance with traffic laws that protect the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, who tend to be the most vulnerable in traffic-related crashes. Through research, the Department identified the roads and intersections of the most concern and efforts have been targeted to those areas. The City of West Palm Beach was eligible to participate in the grant program because the city accounts for approximately 12 percent of pedestrian and bicycle crashes in the county. Specific efforts to educate the public about the target areas ramped up in early March and the grant was earmarked to wrap in mid-May. The following areas were identified by City engineers as those of most concern, and were the focus of the FDOT grant:
- Broadway Avenue between 36 and 59 Streets;
- Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard between Dixie Highway and Village Boulevard;
- Okeechobee Boulevard between Dixie Highway and Indian Road.
Vision Zero is a collaborative approach between engineering, education and enforcement, and the City’s efforts to address all three of the “three Es” was recognized at the luncheon.
City of West Palm Beach 2019 Distinguished Service Awards recipients included:
- Officer Matthew Cuffaro, West Palm Beach Police Department for “Enforcement”
- Sgt. Christopher Nagel, West Palm Beach Police Department for “Enforcement”
- Investigator Daniel Dillard, West Palm Beach Police Department for “Enforcement”
- Officer Michael Lemoine, West Palm Beach Police Department for “Enforcement”
- Investigator James Ingrassia, West Palm Beach Police Department for “Homicide Investigations”
- Chief Diana Matty, West Palm Beach Fire Rescue for “Special Recognition”
- Investigator Daniel Dillard, West Palm Beach Police Department for “Special Recognition”
- Sgt. Christopher Nagel, West Palm Beach Police Department for “Special Recognition”
- Vision Zero West Palm Beach for “Special Traffic Safety Initiatives”
- Vision Zero Task Force for “Education”
For more information on Vision Zero West Palm Beach, visit www.wpb.org/visionzero
, call 561-822-2222, or email Tara Applebaum at email@example.com
. For all City of West Palm Beach news and updates, follow the City of West Palm Beach on Facebook @CityofWPB and on Twitter and Instagram @westpalmbch. For more information on the Traffic Safety Committee, call 561-845-8233.