Why should a children’s hospital be involved in organizing drunk driving checkpoints, conducting senior driving workshops, or coordinating law enforcement crackdowns on aggressive driving? Because motor vehicle crashes are among the top 10 causes of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 64 and among the top 10 causes of nonfatal injury at all ages. Between 2000 and 2005, 64,494 people in Cuyahoga County were injured and 373 were killed in motor vehicle crashes: that’s nearly 65,000 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, coaches, and neighbors. Whether or not there’s a youngster in the vehicle, every crash impacts a child in some way. Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital wants children—and everyone who is important in a child’s life—to make it home safely.
That’s why Rainbow serves as lead agency for the Cuyahoga County DUI Reduction Task Force and the Cuyahoga County Speed, Reckless, and Aggressive Driving Task Force, coalitions of 45 law enforcement agencies throughout the county that work together to make our roads safer by raising public awareness and aggressively enforcing Ohio’s laws.
As lead agency for these coalitions, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital coordinates inter-agency law enforcement efforts, oversees program planning and promotion, and serves as an administrator of state funding for a wide array of traffic safety efforts in Cuyahoga County. By working together to promote safe driving and discourage impaired, aggressive, or high-risk driving, the Coalitions’ member agencies are better able to send the message that Cuyahoga County law enforcement agencies are working together throughout the county to improve traffic safety and enforce the law.
Rainbow’s traffic safety programs are based on state-of-the-art research on what works to discourage dangerous driving and its Coalitions have been nationally recognized for their innovative approaches. In 2005, for example, the Cuyahoga County DUI Reduction Task Force was singled out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as one of the best DUI deterrence programs in the country.