Tonawanda News — Fresh off recognition last week from the Automobile Association of America for recent traffic safety efforts, the North Tonawanda Police Department held a checkpoint on River Road Wednesday in conjunction with several state agencies.
Steve Pacer, a spokesperson for AAA of Western and Central New York, said the city applied for the outfit’s Community Traffic Safety Program, an award that is based off statistics like traffic accidents and leadership groups, as well as their effectiveness.
North Tonawanda received a “Silver Award,” which is designated to municipalities that put in place programs and projects related to traffic safety issues. North Tonawanda has had a Traffic Safety Committee in place for several years and in 2012, eliminated several streets as truck routes, citing safety, including portions of Sweeney, Main and Oliver streets, Old Falls Boulevard and Wheatfield Street from River Road to Oliver Street.
“It’s open to any city in the country and they have to apply by submitting all the traffic safety programs they have to work on the last year,” Pacer said.
On Wednesday, Police Chief William Hall said seven trucks were cited for violations of transportation laws near Gratwick Riverside Park. Officers of the New York state departments of Environmental Conservation and Transportation also assisted in the effort.
“It’s kind of interesting that they stopped seven trucks, five of them were taken out of service,” Hall said, mostly related to equipment violations.
Pacer said Wednesday’s checkpoint was the kind of practice that AAA looks at to determine traffic safety recognition.
“It’s under the whole umbrella,” he said. “At the end of the day the priority of pulling the trucks over ... that certainly ties in to what we’re hoping all city’s do.”
Pacer also noted that the Lumber City traffic safety programs showed evidence of efforts to combat impaired driving, speeding, aggressive and distracted driving and child safety, including issues related to school bus traffic and bicycles.