Greenville, N.C. – The Greenville Traffic Safety Task Force was awarded the Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Award at the Governor’s Highway Safety Conference in New York City, which recognizes notable achievements in the field of highway safety by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, media, government agencies, universities or programs. The task force was created in partnership by Greenville Police Department and ECU Health Medical Center’s Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program (ECIPP).
“We are honored to receive an achievement award that recognizes the efforts of the Greenville Traffic Safety Task Force to improve pedestrian and driver safety,” said Ellen Walston, Injury Prevention Program Coordinator, ECIPP. “The Greenville Traffic Safety Task Force has served as a model of success across the state and is successful because of our community partners who want to see Greenville become safer for drivers and pedestrians. Receiving this award is not just a recognition of our efforts, it’s a testament to our proven results of unwavering commitment to making our roads safer for all.”
The Greenville Traffic Safety Task Force was honored for bringing together a range of community stakeholders and leaders to quickly implement needed roadway safety countermeasures. For many years Greenville was ranked number one for highest volume of crashes in cities with populations of 10,000 or more by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. With an average of over 400 crashes per month in a city of less than 100,000, leaders in the community sought a creative solution. Thus, Greenville Police Department and ECIPP at ECU Health Medical Center formed the Greenville Traffic Safety Task Force.
The Greenville Traffic Safety Task Force is now comprised of partners from ECIPP, Greenville Police Department, City of Greenville’s Engineering Department, ECU Health Police, ECU Police, North Carolina Department of Transportation and Greenville Metropolitan Planning Organization. Partners are responsible for enforcement data, bicycle and pedestrian safety, crash reduction and roadway changes, school safety and policy changes. Each partner has a stake in the task force’s success.
“The Greenville Police Department is honored to work with this task force and take part in receiving this achievement,” said Deputy Chief Chris Ivey, Greenville Police Department. “The efforts of the Greenville Traffic Safety Task Force are key in ensuring traffic safety of our community and encouraging good driving habits. We see the value in traffic safety and recognize that enforcement and collaboration with our partners on the task force can save lives.”
The multidisciplinary group identified and implemented solutions including high-visibility crosswalks, traffic delineators and increased enforcement in crash-prone areas. Together, these countermeasures and community support led to a sizable reduction in crashes, providing a model for other cities and communities. The Greenville Traffic Safety Task Force also installed bollards, or vertical posts, which are used to guide left turns from middle lanes at busy areas. In 2021, Greenville moved from the number one ranking for crashes in the state to the number seven slot. In 2022, Greenville has moved to the number eight slot.
“Traffic safety takes effort from a number of different partners,” said Stacey Pigford, Civil Engineer II, City of Greenville. “Our department is proud to work with the Greenville Traffic Safety Task Force on a cause that has produced such positive results, and to see those results recognized.”
The task force was previously awarded the 2019 North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program Community Collaboration Award, the Safe States Injury and Violence Prevention Achievement Award in 2022 and the 2023 inaugural North Carolina Vision Zero Safety Award.