First driver safety summit to be held in Pullman

Event targets young drivers, educates on safety precautions

The+Palouse+Regional+Transportation+Planning+Organization+will+host+a+driver+safety+event+from+8+a.m.+to+5+p.m.+on+Sept.+20+at+the+Courtyard+Marriott+in+Pullman.
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First driver safety summit to be held in Pullman

The Palouse Regional Transportation Planning Organization will host a driver safety event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Courtyard Marriott in Pullman.

The Palouse Regional Transportation Planning Organization will host a driver safety event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Courtyard Marriott in Pullman.

COURTESY OF SHAUN DARVESHI

The Palouse Regional Transportation Planning Organization will host a driver safety event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Courtyard Marriott in Pullman.

COURTESY OF SHAUN DARVESHI

COURTESY OF SHAUN DARVESHI

The Palouse Regional Transportation Planning Organization will host a driver safety event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Courtyard Marriott in Pullman.

ELAYNE RODRIGUEZ, Evergreen reporter

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Palouse Regional Transportation Planning Organization is hosting the first driver safety event to educate young inexperienced drivers about the fundamentals of safe driving on highways.

The Palouse Driver Safety Summit will go from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Courtyard Marriott in Pullman.

The Palouse RTPO is in partnership with other agencies like WSU, which started the Palouse Driver Safety Campaign in 2016. The goal is to spread safety awareness, according to the Palouse Driver Safety Summit press release.

Shaun Darveshi, transportation engineer and director of Palouse RTPO, said the summit is a one-day conference with sessions about driver safety from local presenters, like City of Pullman Public Works, Pullman and Whitman law enforcement, and Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

Darveshi said Mike Gribner, eastern regional WSDOT administrator, will be the main speaker for the summit. Mayor Glenn Johnson will speak about City of Pullman updates.

“Not everybody is doing whatever they could for the safety,” Darveshi said. “It was evident that it was not just the road [causing accidents].”

Drivers will need to take more safety precautions as the weather changes, Darveshi said.

According to the Palouse Driver Safety Summit draft agenda, the lunch and breakfast will be provided, and the early sessions will be about the state “target zero” plan and the campaign.

The later sessions will be focused on the hands-on experience safety tips and strategies from a local driver education teacher, he said.

John Shaheen, director of WSU Transportation Services, said the event is focused on younger drivers, like university and high school students, to discuss distracted driving.

Most of the crashes came from drowsy, distracted, or inexperienced drivers on the road during certain weather conditions, Darveshi said.

The request they received to host an educational event about driving was a collaborative effort to reduce accidents on the highways, Shaheen said.

Darveshi said 68 percent of crashes recorded between 2011 and 2015 on US-195 and SR-26 were caused by distracted driving or lack of experience.

“In the past three years the campaign helped reduce 21 percent in those three driving factors,” he said.

Students do not have to pay to attend the summit. The general public, local government, state and public agencies need to pay to register, Darveshi said.

The general public registration fee is $30, and the local government, state and public agencies registration fee is $25, according to the Palouse Driver Safety Summit registration page on Eventbrite.com.