The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) recently hosted the 2019 Highway Safety Champions Awards at Roger Williams University in Bristol. This annual event recognizes local and state law enforcement officers for their efforts to keep Rhode Island roadways safe, while raising community awareness about highway safety.
Highway Safety Champions were recognized in five major highway safety priority categories. These included Occupant Protection, Impaired Driving, Distracted Driving, Speed Management, and Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety. Thirty-four law enforcement officials were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments.
Also in attendance at the awards ceremony were students from the Rhode Island Police Chiefs' Association's Youth Force Leadership Program. Selected from across the state, this group of high school students attended a three-day summit at Roger Williams University to learn about traffic safety initiatives culminating with the awards ceremony.
Gabrielle Abbate, Chief of the Office of Highway Safety at RIDOT commented on the importance of having youth represented at this ceremony. "It was really important for us to have the young people see the people who work so hard to protect them," she said during the awards.
Among those recognized at the awards ceremony were Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Winner of the 2019 Highway Safety Champion Leadership Award. Colonel Winquist, Chief of the Cranston Police Department, was recognized for his dedicated leadership in promoting highway safety.
Also recognized with the 2019 Highway Safety Champion Agency Award, was the Burrillville Police Department under the leadership of Colonel Stephen J. Lynch. The Burrillville Police Department was honored for its continuous efforts to push highway safety initiatives at the local level.