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Statewide task force wants to hear from Salina area citizens

March 31, 2006 (06-080)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News Contact: Maggie Thompson, (785) 296-5613

Statewide task force wants to hear from Salina area citizens

TOPEKA, Kan., – The Driving Force, a statewide citizen task force announced in February by Governor Kathleen Sebelius, is holding its first meeting in Salina and wants to hear from area citizens. The task force is charged with recommending ways to reduce the number of people killed and injured on Kansas roadways.

“I encourage Kansans in every community to get involved in this process, either by sharing information or simply doing what they can to be safe while driving,” Governor Sebelius said.

The task force meeting will be April 7 at the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy in Salina from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with time set aside for public comment from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. While the entire meeting is open to the public, the task force encourages attendance during the 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. time period. During that time, the task force hopes to hear from area citizens whose lives have been affected by traffic crashes or who have recommendations for ways to reduce the number of people being killed or injured on Kansas roadways.

The Driving Force meeting in Salina is the first of seven meetings that will be held across the state from April to September. The task force meetings will focus on different aspects of Kansas roadways and traffic crashes. Several of the concepts include issues such as education surrounding fatalities and injuries on Kansas roadways, seatbelt/booster seats, teens/older drivers, speeding, work zone safety, impaired/inattentive driving, emergency medical response, debilitating injuries and their effect on Kansans, suspended drivers, enforcing current laws and insurance.

The goal of The Driving Force is to produce recommendations to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on Kansas roadways. These recommendations could include changes in the areas of education, enforcement, engineering and legislation.

Jeff Boerger, president of the Kansas Speedway, and Darlene Whitlock, trauma project coordinator at Stormont-Vail TraumaCare in Topeka will serve as co-chairs of The Driving Force, which is also made up of other concerned individuals from a wide range of professions across the state.

For more information on The Driving Force and its efforts to reduce fatalities and injuries on Kansas roadways please contact Maggie Thompson, at the Kansas Department of Transportation at (785) 296-5613 or maggiet@ksdot.org.

The Driving Force is a part of Kansas’ Safer Driving, Safer Roads campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to inform and change driver attitudes and behavior to create a safer environment for all. The Safer Driving, Safer Roads campaign is being led in a unique cross-agency endeavor by the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

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