The Club recognizes AAA Northeast communities that identify local traffic safety problems and then work to solve them as part of the AAA Community Traffic Safety Awards Program. AAA clubs make applications available to cities, counties, towns and villages, asking officials to describe their traffic safety activities of the previous year. It’s not a competition – any community that completes the application and earns the required scores will receive an award. Initiatives may include everything from pedestrian safety, bicycle safety, school bus safety, teen driving, senior safety, checkpoints to monitor seat belt use, distracted driving, impaired driving, along with roadway safety projects and emergency response innovations. The awards were presented at an annual luncheon awards ceremony held on October 17, 2019 at The Garden City Hotel in Garden City, NY.
John Corlett, Director of Public/Government Affairs and Traffic Safety, AAA Northeast, the local AAA affiliate, presented a total of 60 awards to communities within the Club’s region for their efforts in making the area’s roadways safer, in addition to two special recognition awards. “We are pleased to honor our award-winning communities that are doing such vital work to ensure that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists can all reach their destinations safely,” Corlett said.
AAA presented Cohen Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Trauma Department with AAA’s Outstanding Achievement in Traffic Safety for an Organization. The organization was presented the award for the significant outreach work they have done, educating children, teen drivers, and adults on being safe as pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. Cohen’s also provides monthly child car seat checks for families, as well as training to countless Northwell Hospital staff, Nassau County Police, and interested local community members to become certified Child Passenger Safety technicians. Cohen Children’s Medical Center is the largest Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in New York State, and is widely recognized as a cutting-edge facility for pediatric trauma cases. The excellent outreach programs offered by Cohen’s are designed to keep kids OUT of the trauma center.
AAA also presented this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Traffic Safety for an Individual to Don Schuck, a retired Lieutenant, Town of Yorktown Police Department. Mr. Schuck was recognized for his tireless work in traffic safety and education efforts both throughout his career with the Yorktown Police and in his retirement. Schuck served on the Special Patrol Operations Unit as a traffic supervisor and as the department’s Stop DWI Program Coordinator. Schuck has served as a AAA Driver Improvement Program Instructor since 1990, and also teaches the AAA program for Au Pair in America, familiarizing au pairs from foreign countries with the rules of the road in America. Schuck is also a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and a certified CarFit technician. He has been certified and is an internationally recognized IACP Drug Recognition Expert for over 20 years and has been part of the development and improvement of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program in New York State.
The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Madeline Singas, Nassau County District Attorney. She serves as chief law enforcement official to 1.3 million Nassau County residents, and through her 28- year career as prosecutor has a deep commitment to fairness, integrity and justice. As DA, she has focused her efforts on combatting drug and gun trafficking, violent gangs and sexual assault. She has dedicated unprecedented resources to battle the epidemic of heroin and opiate abuse, prioritizing education to prevent addiction and treatment for those abusing drugs while being tough on dealers. Her presentation was of great interest.
There were five Platinum award winners in AAA’s annual Community Traffic Safety Awards Program, which recognizes outstanding communities for their efforts to make the region’s roadways safer for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The Town of Ramapo in Rockland County, the Town of Greenburgh, the Village of Pelham, City of White Plains in Westchester County and New York City won AAA’s top Platinum Award for the outstanding success and effectiveness of their traffic safety programs, some of which are highlighted below
Gold award winners:
Croton-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Freeport, Garden City, Goshen, Great Neck Estates, Irvington, Larchmont, Long Beach, Lynbrook, Malverne, Monroe, New Rochelle, Northport, Port Washington, Poughkeepsie, Riverhead, Rockville Centre, Rye Brook, Southold, Tarrytown and Tuckahoe
Silver award winners:
Lake Success, New Paltz, Peekskill, Pelham Manor and Pleasantville
Bronze award winner: