Traffic Safety Days to Honor Longtime Partner

Oct 3, 2017

Organizers of Williamson County's Traffic Safety Days are honoring one of their partners with the 10th annual event logo.
The logo, unveiled Tuesday at the sheriff's office in Marion, features a tractor-trailer from Thomason Express.

Williamson County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Murrah says the transportation company has been a big part of the event from the start.

"Every year they pull two truck and trailer combinations off the road, polish them absolutely spotless, and park them in the Pavilion of the City of Marion for a week so that high school kids can climb in and out of the truck to experience what a truck driver can and can't see."

Thomason Express owner Lee Thomason says it's a huge cost to take two trucks off the road for a week, but he says safety is more important.

"There's more value in it just for the safety aspect and educating the community and the public."

Murrah says 450 students from seven high schools in Williamson and Franklin counties attended the first event in 2009. He says it's grown by leaps and bounds since then.
"Our 9th annual event had an attendance of 1,564 students that came from 30 high schools in 11 different southern Illinois counties. Through the nine years of the event, we estimate that just over 10,000 students have come through our doors."
Illinois State Trooper Joey Watson says distracted driving is a major emphasis, but there are nine different traffic safety presentations.
"Students are exposed to a variety of topics, which were chosen through a statistical analysis of crash data, because these are the real world problems that the students will face when they hit the streets as a new driver."

Watson says organizers hope to attract at least 15-hundred students again for the March 2018 event.