Dear Drive Safe Members,
As 2020 comes to a close, I want to thank you for your great work and for your commitment to our organization and to our mission. It has been a tough and challenging year. When I became President, my goals included maintaining a presence in Hampton Roads and to increase our donor sponsorship. What first began in 1988 as Concerned Citizen’s Advocating Traffic Safety (CCATS) is now Drive Safe Hampton Roads (DSHR), 32 plus years later. The organization is still active but at a more conservative level of activity due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Before 2021 begins, I want to take a few moments of your time and fill you in on a few highlights of 2020. I believe these are things we should be proud of.
* Old, Used, Borrowed and Abused Child Safety Seat Round-Up 2020 netted 175 seats in February.
* Get It Together High School Seat Belt Challenge finished up in the spring with 32 local high schools being recognized. Unfortunately, the awards breakfast had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. But thanks to students’ efforts, seat belt use by teens increased nine points from the Challenge’s baseline percentage, making it 89%. **This is four percent higher than the state average seat belt use. The 2019-2020 Challenge kicked off the 23rd year for this Legacy program, with over 800,000 students being touched by this program.
* Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Appreciation Days have been held for 27 years and typically has almost 200 trucks that drive through each of this twice-yearly event. We had new Covid-19 rules limiting the number of volunteers pitching in to distribute goodies to area commercial motor vehicle drivers but both events were successful!
* The 2019 John T. Hanna Awards for Excellence in Traffic Safety was held January 28, 2020 at the Princess Anne Country Club. There were eight awards presented including our own Patricia Davidson as the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Transportation Safety Award recipient.
It’s been a different type of year, one with lots of challenges and changes. I give thanks for all that we have achieved this year and look forward to what we will be able to accomplish in 2021. I hope we will be able to start up with a soft opening of more DSHR activities starting June 2021. Together, we are all moving Drive Safe Hampton Roads forward. Thank you for all you do for the organization, for our community, and for our mission. It is such a great honor and privilege to work with the quality of persons that are a part of this great organization. Have a blessed and wonderful holiday season!
AAA Tidewater Virginia
President, Drive Safe Hampton Roads 2020-2021