Traffic Safety Successes on the Colville Reservation
A documentary video, about a concerted cross-reservation effort to reduce traffic deaths from a high of about one every other week to two last year, has won an award.
“Traffic Safety Successes on the Colville Reservation”, produced by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, received recognition from filmmakers earlier this month. During the 37th Annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, California, the documentary won the award for Best Industrial.
The film was directed by M. J. Haught.
“I am thrilled this film has helped to recognize tribal members and residents of the Colville Reservation for their spectacular work in reducing traffic deaths and injuries,” said Darrin Grondel, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. “They have been excellent traffic safety partners in helping us implement Target Zero.”
Target Zero, Washington’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, has a vision of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
The reservation has achieved a significant drop in fatal crashes. How has this happened? In the documentary tribal member and Tribal Police Officer Tony Marchand highlights one of the keys: “I think the biggest change, it all comes from the top,” Marchand said. “I think from the Business Council down to the public safety director, to the chief and to the rest of the sergeants on down to the patrol officers.”
Contributing to the reductions in traffic deaths are public education by several tribal groups, roadway safety improvements made by the Tribal Transportation Department and efforts by EMS Fire and Rescue of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.
“To actually make an impact, you need to get everybody involved, not just one little group,” said tribal member and Inchelium Ferry Pilot Daryle Marchand. “I mean the whole community needs to be involved.”