The Novi Police Department has earned the 2012 Award for Excellence in Traffic Safety from the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), according to a press release from the city of Novi.
Winners of the MACP/OHSP Michigan Traffic Safety Award must demonstrate a clear and convincing commitment to traffic safety within their communities. Programs are judged on the following four components:
- Scope and duration of the project
- Complexity or difficulty of the project
- Degree of innovation involved
- Results achieved
The Novi Police Department was honored with a $7,000 grant contributed by OHSP for traffic safety equipment. This year’s honor was awarded for the department’s “Choose Your Ride” program. This is an innovative, multi-faceted approach to decreasing the number of impaired drivers in Novi. In 2012, the Novi Police Department arrested 342 people for impaired driving offenses, (a decrease of 17 percent from 2011) and experienced 37 alcohol and or controlled substances related traffic crashes, (a decrease of 27 percent from 2011) with none of the accidents being fatal.
The “Choose Your Ride’ program highlights the safety risks for both the driver and others. It also shares the cost of being arrested for drunk driving, including jail time and more than $10,000 in total fines and costs. In Novi, posters encouraging people to find an alternate way home are placed in local establishments that serve or sell alcoholic beverages. A special police car, designed specifically to promote the program serves as a visual reminder of the risks of drunk driving.
“The goal of this year’s efforts was to reduce the number of impaired driving offenses and crashes within Novi through specific education and enforcement actions based on measurable data,” said David Molloy, Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police. “Motorists who drive while under the influence represent a significant danger – not only too themselves, but everyone on the roadway. Ninety percent of all drunk driving happens after drinking with family, friends, and co-workers; there is always somebody around who could be part of a healthy solution. While we want everyone to enjoy what our community has to offer, we encourage them to do it in a responsible way. The message is simple, if you have consumed alcohol, ‘Choose Your Ride’ wisely. Traffic safety is a fundamental and extremely vital element of community policing and the Novi Police Department prides itself on being a leader in raising awareness of the importance of obeying traffic laws in our community. With a 27 percent reduction in impaired driving related traffic crashes from the same time period as 2011, I am extremely proud of all members of the Novi Police Department for their commitment to traffic safety.”