The Indiana Borough Police Department was among 40 western Pennsylvania police agencies that earned AAA Platinum Awards for their community traffic safety efforts, according to officials at AAA East Central.
This is the sixth consecutive year the Indiana police department has received the recognition.
The awards were given to “commendable leaders” for their safety efforts and enforcement activities geared towards making communities safer.
The departments were among hundreds nationwide that participated in the Community Traffic Safety Program and among 91 regional entrants recognized by AAA.
“We are very proud of the departments for their achievement and participation in the Community Traffic Safety Program,” said J.J. Miller, AAA safety adviser. “They went above and beyond the call of duty by organizing projects which would make their community a safer place for motorists as well as local residents.”
To be eligible for the annual awards, a community must conduct traffic safety promotions and educate the public on safety topics.
Indiana Police Chief William Sutton said the recognition results from a proactive approach to traffic safety by the police department and the department’s participation with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to monitor traffic issues and conditions.
Efforts to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians in Indiana are based on three E’s — education, enforcement and engineering — with PennDOT supplying the third component, Sutton said.
For the large number of pedestrians walking across Indiana streets on any given day, the number of vehicle-pedestrian accidents in Indiana is nearly nonexistent, he said.
Indiana officer Sgt. Frank Kovalcik said that in applying for the recognition the department must document traffic accident statistics in the borough. The police department must also provide updates on projects with PennDOT; detail pedestrian and bicycle safety programs given in Indiana’s elementary and junior high schools; document community safety education programs presented on radio and through the print media; and provide details of the department’s participation in the county’s DUI task force.
“The purpose of the award program is to recognize these great efforts that have advanced the cause of traffic safety so they can be shared and emulated by others,” Miller said.
AAA East Central conducts a variety of free highway safety programs throughout western Pennsylvania focusing on all age groups. The club also partners with law enforcement and safety agencies on initiatives to improve the safety of the community and local highways.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 82 local offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky serving more than 2.7 million members.
PHOTO: Police Chief William Sutton, left, and Sgt. Frank Kovalcik, center, of the Indiana Borough Police Department, presented the AAA Platinum Award for traffic safety Thursday to Councilman Kevin Kravetsky, chairman of the Public Safety Committee.