The Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge is a friendly competition between similar size and type of law enforcement agencies. It is a program coordinated by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) Traffic Committee and supported by a NHTSA grant administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Safety, as well as much-appreciated funding from private entities. The Challenge rewards creativity, commitment and innovation in traffic safety. The program format is designed to encourage agencies to set comprehensive goals, develop positive traffic safety programs, share their experiences with others, and recognizes the best overall traffic safety programs in Illinois. The program targets three major traffic safety priorities: occupant protection, speeding and impaired driving. It recognizes agencies for the approach and effectiveness of their overall highway safety programs. Agencies are evaluated not just for enforcement initiatives, but for innovating problem solving in their communities, using public information activities and creating departmental policies that support their traffic enforcement campaign efforts. The Traffic Safety Challenge provides law enforcement agencies with an opportunity to make a significant difference in the communities they serve. Winning programs effectively combine many different strategies to reduce crashes and injuries in their jurisdiction. Ultimately, the Traffic Safety Challenge is about Saving Lives and reducing traffic related injuries.
Every department participates to some degree in traffic safety programs; so entering the Challenge doesn’t require a great deal of extra commitment on an agency’s part. Merely taking the time to document current activity has produced many winners. Being recognized as a winner brings a great deal of positive awareness to a department, may yield benefits at budget time, and enhances an agency’s reputation as one which is “tough on crime" yet prioritizes safety on its roadways. Winners are recognized at a luncheon at the Illinois Police and Security Expo in August. In addition to trophies and awards being presented, participating agencies are also awarded thousands of dollars in equipment. The grand prize is a fully equipped squad car presented to one agency free of charge, no strings attached.