2004 J. Stannard Baker Award Winners

SUPERINTENDENT (RETIRED) JAMES W. McMAHON
NEW YORK STATE POLICE

Jim McMahon was selected as a 2004 recipient of this prestigious award for his sustained, continuous, and career-spanning extraordinary initiative and creativity in developing, implementing, and improving traffic safety programs and technologies within the State of New York and for his willingness to share his expertise with others.

Jim McMahon’s career as a New York State Trooper spanned a total of 37 years, the last nine as the eleventh Superintendent of State Police. Never forgetting his experiences as a Trooper, Superintendent McMahon brought into play during his appointment better means to decrease highway crashes, to save lives, and to diminish injuries. Under his tutelage, the New York State Police reduced between April 1994, and July 2003, the rate of highway fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled from 1.58 to 1.09, translating into 1,784 lives saved. The most significant of his myriad efforts to achieve this accomplishment as Superintendent were:

  • Increasing speed and aggressive driving enforcement (upgraded radar units and secured in-car video systems)
  • Improving DWI enforcement by 22 percent (upgraded breath analyzers, improving the conviction rate)
  • Addressing underage alcohol consumption by instituting highly-publicized interagency programs attacking both the supply and demand sides on the issue and by employing passive alcohol testers
  • Increasing Troopers’ access to computers (instituted electronic citations and traffic-stop data collection, as well as improved the quality, accuracy, and speed of crash investigations by deploying electronic total workstations)
  • Expanded and enhanced entrance-level and in-service training on various highway safety issues
  • Created full-time Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and Collision Reconstruction Units, elevating traffic safety to a higher level in these areas
  • Increased occupant restraint enforcement by 90 percent (trained Troopers as Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians)

Superintendent McMahon’s commitment to traffic safety issues extended well beyond New York’s borders. He served on a multitude of committees, notably the IACP’s Highway Safety Committee, and was the General Chair of its State and Provincial Police Directorate between 1999 and 2002.

Superintendent McMahon currently is serving as Director of New York State’s Office of Public Security.

CHARLES A. “CHUCK” HURLEY
VICE PRESIDENT, TRANSPORTATION SAFETY GROUP NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL

Chuck Hurley was selected as a 2004 recipient of this prestigious award for his sustained, continuous, and career-spanning extraordinary initiative and creativity in championing legislative, educational, and enforcement efforts to improve virtually every aspect of highway safety in the United States. He has been at the forefront of virtually every notable effort promoting the enactment of primary safety belt laws, the use of child passenger safety restraints, the reduction of states’ legal blood alcohol levels to .08, and the prohibition of cell phone use by teenage drivers participating in graduated driver’s licensing programs.

Chuck Hurley has worked in the executive and legislative branches at every level of government to save lives and reduce injuries on our nation’s highways. He was one of the founders of Lifesavers Conference Inc. and has been elected its President six times since 1989, was named a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) “Hero” in 1997, was elected to MADD’s National Board of Directors in 1992 and again in 1994, and has served as Executive Director of the Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign. He shepherded to realization and national recognition such concepts as MADD’s National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign in 1987, North Carolina’s “Click It or Ticket” program in 1993 and its “Booze It and Lose It” campaign in 1994, and the National Safety Council’s Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign in 1996.

With respect to traffic safety issues, Mr. Hurley has testified before the Congress of the United States on 11 occasions, has met with 7 U.S. Secretaries of Transportation and every National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator since 1977, has represented the National Safety Council in 22 state capitals, has appeared over 200 times on major television network programs, and frequently is quoted in the print media.

Chuck Hurley raised $1.75M to support the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, $3M to underwrite Daimler Chrysler’s “Fit For A Kid” national child passenger safety program, and $43.2 to operate the Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign. He has judged the IACP’s National Chiefs’ Challenge and has raised funds to operate this program.

There obviously are very few positive aspects of highway safety in which Chuck Hurley has not been involved at one time or another, and his commitment to traffic safety certainly is beyond question.

LIEUTENANT WILLIAM L. “LUTHER” HIRES
POLICE DEPARTMENT JESUP, GEORGIA

Lieutenant Hires was selected as a 2004 recipient of this prestigious award for his sustained, continuous, and career-spanning extraordinary initiative and creativity in developing and promoting traffic safety programs within and beyond the City of Jesup, Georgia, and for the benefit of its residents.

Luther Hires began his Georgia law enforcement career with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office in 1969; moved to the Hinesville Police Department in 1975, where he investigated his first fatal crash; and joined the Jesup Police Department in 1977, where he currently serves as the Commander of its Administrative Division.

Lieutenant Hires determined in 1980 that the City of Jesup had had at least one traffic fatality during each of the past 20 years and decided then to combine education and enforcement to reverse that disturbing statistic. He developed—and still conducts throughout his community—traffic safety programs relative to speed, impaired driving, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and occupant protection. As a direct result of those efforts, the City of Jesup did not record a single fatality for just shy of two years.

After his 19-year-old son, who was not wearing a safety belt, was tragically killed in 1988, the Lieutenant devoted more effort toward occupant protection. He developed and implemented in 1998 an occupant protection course of instruction whereby the State Court of Wayne County, as well as the Recorder Courts of Jesup and Screven, permit those receiving citations for safety belt or child passenger safety restraint violations to choose to attend a single class—conducted one night each month—rather than to pay a fine; this option is available only one time for one violation. Additionally, in cooperation with businesses and other corporate partners, he built in 1999 a rollover simulator and obtained fatal vision goggles to educate citizens on the importance of occupant restraints, as well as on the effects of alcohol, and has made thus far myriad presentations benefiting thousands of citizens in 38 of Georgia’s 159 counties.

Lieutenant Hires served in 1982 on a gubernatorial committee that rewrote Georgia’s DUI law; remains the volunteer coordinator of the Coastal Area Traffic Enforcement Network, one of 16 Regional Traffic Enforcement Networks that Georgia established in 1997 to provide networking, training, and communication opportunities to traffic officers; is a POST certified instructor who teaches “Advanced Traffic Law” and other traffic-related courses; was selected as Police Officer of the Year by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce in 1980 and by the Wayne County Exchange Club in 1999; and received NHTSA’s “Public Service Award” at the 2003 Lifesavers Conference.

Luther Hires’ belief that he could make a difference in highway safety as a result of that 1975 fatality he investigated has been realized and has become the passion that has guided his more than 35-year law enforcement career and that has benefited the citizens he chosen to serve.

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