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Goodman recipient of national highway safety award
Rep. Roger Goodman, (D-Kirkland) for the 45th Legislative District, was among three recipients of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Safety Champions Award, Sept. 23 at the Bellevue Hilton Hotel.
The Kirkland resident was one of the lead sponsors of a bill that allows people convicted of DUI to drive with a provisional license if they install an ignition interlock device on their car. Sensor technology in the device determines whether the driver has been drinking and disables the ignition if alcohol is detected in the driver’s bloodstream.
When the law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2009, it’s estimated to save at least 100 lives per year.
John Moffat, administrator of NHTSA, Region 10, bestowed the awards upon Goodman, Sen. Dale Brandland of the 42nd Legislative District and Rep. Pat Lantz of the 26th Legislative District.
Moffat stated that the Safety Champions Awards are given time to time, as warranted by special achievements.
“We are striving for zero deaths and zero disabling injuries on Washington highways by the year 2030,” Moffat explained.
He said certain “X” factors such as setting the legal blood alcohol limit at 0.08, enforcing the use of safety belts and child restraint devices and issuing graduated driving licenses to inexperienced drivers all have had positive effects toward reducing deaths and injuries.
But the use of the ignition interlock vehicle license program “was something that was unthinkable 10 years ago -- the technology wasn’t there,” Moffat said.
Accepting his award, Goodman described his fervor to do something about the average of 300 people who are killed on roadways in Washington each year. “It’s not just 300 deaths on the road, but 300 families, 300 communities touched, the ripple effect,” he said.
The interlock ignition device allows convicted drunk drivers to continue to go to work but will stop them from operating a vehicle when they shouldn’t.
He got excited about this program based on research done in New Mexico, where the devices have led to a decline in accidents.