This fall, the Nevada Traffic Safety Summit gathered in person for the first time since 2019. The welcome session included a panel of traffic safety community leaders from across Nevada: Governor Steve Sisolak; Kristina Swallow, Director, NDOT; George Togliatti, Director, Nevada Department of Public Safety; Julie Butler, Director, Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles; and Anne Carpenter, Colonel, Nevada Highway Patrol. Panelists shared their communities’ top traffic safety issues and actions their agencies are taking to improve safety and reduce fatalities and serious injuries.
Session offerings throughout the two-and-a-half-day summit included Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Responder Training, Child Passenger Safety 101, a returning session on “Emotional Survival” with Dr. Kevin Gilmartin, and several breakout sessions. The breakouts included topics such as The Future is Now: What’s New with Emerging Technologies; Impaired Driving: Navigating the Changing Landscape; Fast and Furious: Let’s Talk About Speed; Traffic Safety Communication: Listen, Learn, Action; Vulnerable Road Users: Walking and Biking to Zero Fatalities; Judicial Outreach and Communications; Safer Drivers and Passengers: Are We There Yet?; Equity: Improving Safety for Everyone; and Engineering Safer Roads.
Keynote sessions featured Nanda Srinivasan, Associate Administrator for Research and Program Development, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who presented on Traffic Trends, Opportunities, and Safety Solutions. This presentation offered an overview of national data, behavioral research, and NHTSA’s current activities with an emphasis on safety culture and applying an equitable Safe System Approach to protect all road users.
The next keynote featured Holly Kostrzewski, Hope Humor Inspiration who presented Hiking to the Top of Mt TBI. Holly spoke about a life-changing traumatic brain injury she experienced at age 18 as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Holly spoke about the faith and positive attitude that helped her overcome the challenges that followed during her ongoing recovery.
The final presentation was given by Jason Schecterle, Author of Burning Shield. Jason spoke of his experience overcoming a motor vehicle crash during his time as a rookie police officer. The crash left him trapped inside his patrol car when it was engulfed in flames. Jason talked about his triumph overcoming these challenges as he continues to face adversity.
The 2021 Nevada Traffic Safety Summit closed with remarks from Amy Davey, Administrator of the Office of Traffic Safety, and a hopeful promise to meet again in 2022 for another in-person Traffic Safety Summit in Northern Nevada.