SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
Healthy Communities Coalition is honored to be the recipient of a $15,000 grant from the Nevada Department of Public Safety and the Office of Traffic Safety.
Healthy Communities Coalition is composed of over 100 local, state, tribal and federal group partners and hundreds of volunteers. Diverse partners within the Coalition will work together using evidence-based strategies to reduce the number of traffic crashes on Lyon County roads by 15%. In particular, the Coalition will work to reduce the number of accidents by juveniles, and to reduce the number of traffic and alcohol violations recorded at Lahontan State Recreation Area.
School-Based Traffic Safety Campaigns: The Coalition’s Stand Tall youth leadership teams in each high school in the county will lead traffic safety education campaigns in their school systems and communities. Stand Tall leaders will also help raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving, texting, and speeding and encourage seatbelt use.
Increasing Safety at Lahontan: Lake Lahontan rangers had already established a mutually beneficial relationship with Healthy Communities Coalition, and the grant will allow them to expand safety measures further. The Traffic Safety grant will help fund cards with information about alcohol laws and contact numbers for park rangers. In past years, the Coalition provided funding and support that resulted in reductions in injuries and arrests at Lahontan State Recreation Area in Silver Springs and improvements in statewide alcohol laws at State Parks. The Coalition funded additional patrols, funded signs on alcohol laws throughout the park, and provided visitors and local schools with cards asking them to report under-age drinking parties. Park Supervisor Anthony Beauregard said that as a result of Coalition funding for additional officers with their ability to patrol remote areas, the average number of arrests during the high visitation Memorial Day and July 4 weekends dropped from 8 per year in 2008 and 2009 to just 1 in 2010 and 3 in 2011. Citations issued dropped from an average of 25 per year in 2008 and 2009 to just 10 in 2010 and 11 in 2011. The numbers of accidents and medical calls had similar drops over those holiday weekends. Beauregard also noted that during the 2010 and 2011 Memorial Day and July 4 weekends, officers were able to contact a greater number of visitors and prevent many underage drinking incidents and other unsafe situations.
For more information about Healthy Communities Coalition, please call Christy McGill at 246-7550 or see www.healthycomm.org