Sgt. Dan Crain, public information and education officer for Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I, recently received a prestigious statewide award, the Lay Down the Law Award, from the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.
The coalition gives the award to an individual in law enforcement who works tirelessly to promote highway safety and safe driving habits. The coalition has dubbed the award winners as Highway Safety Heroes.
“I appreciate the award, but, quite frankly, I think any of the public information officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol are equally as deserving as I am,” Crain said. “We are all out there with the goal of educating the public and letting the public know what they can do to make themselves a safer driver because we aren’t just about enforcement. We want to educate people so we can be proactive.”
Since taking on the role of public information and education officer in 2003, Crain takes every opportunity to teach safe driving to those in the communities served by MSHP Troop I, which covers Phelps and five other counties in south Central Missouri.
Crain has made late night presentations to project graduation groups, given rides in the seat belt convincer for PTO carnivals, performed car seat checks and interrupted family meals to obtain information for the media.
“He is a true leader and is highly respected in Troop I,” said Lt. Steve Davis, of Troop I.
According to Davis, Crain’s experiences working accidents have provided first-hand knowledge of the importance of wearing seat belts. Davis noted that Crain is very enthusiastic about spreading the message of highway safety.
Crain’s efforts include presentations to schools, businesses, churches and civil or social groups about a variety of topics from seat belt safety to distracted driving to bicycle safety and the importance of wearing a helmet. He often puts his words into action, combining his presentations with the seat belt convincer and rollover simulator.
Crain was nominated for the Lay Down the Law Award by the Central District Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety at the recommendation of Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and received the award during the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety’s Blueprint to Save More Lives Conference held in Branson in late October.
Conference attendees learned that Highway Safety Heroes like Crain are becoming even more important as highway fatality rates in Missouri are up in 2012 after seeing decreases the previous six years. According to the latest available figures, 28 more people have lost their lives on Missouri’s roadways in 2012 than in 2011.
The 2012 conference unveiled a new goal of 700 of fewer fatalities by 2016 with a vision of continually moving Missouri toward zero roadway deaths.
For more information on the Highway Safety Heroes Awards, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety or safe driving habits, visit www.savemolives.com.