After a great turnout at the Leon County EMS Safety Fair last weekend designed and hosted by Major Sally Davis with her top notch and dedicated Emergency Medical Service Team, I invite everyone to come out to Tallahassee Community College Thursday, April 18, from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and take part in the TCC annual Traffic Safety Fair.

This important student safety project is another of Tallahassee’s very own first rate programs to bring attention to the many ways we can avoid tragedy while driving a car or truck.

I will have one of my IMPAACT (Informing More Pupils About Auto Crash Tragedies) crashed cars on site. I began IMPAACT to take a valuable driver safety message directly to teenage drivers in high schools and some middle school passengers as a tribute to  Ansley Rayboun, a “beautiful in every way”’ Tallahassee 14-year-old killed by a drunk driver.

MPAACT spokesman and retired Florida State Trooper Philip Stuart is taking his crashed car display to the Traffic Safety Fair at TCC

There will be others on site at TCC such as SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) who also take a profound life saving message of safety and good judgment directly to teenagers. My alma mater, the Florida Highway Patrol will be represented as will the Florida Department of Transportation.

Anthony Phoenix Branca Foundation will be represented. (Anthony, a wonderful, promising 19-year-old young man killed by a texting driver.) Anthony’s dad, Demetrius and I work alongside to convince our legislators to pass meaningful texting while driving law.

Tallahassee Police Department and Mother’s Against Drunk Driving will also participate. These loving and brave mothers morn their devastating, incomprehensible loss in the open to prevent this killing mechanism from inflicting devastation upon others. There will be other individuals and groups involved in traffic safety to get the word out: stay healthy and safe while enjoying your daily activities.

As a Florida State Trooper, I have witnessed firsthand the absolute devastation inflicted upon families due to poor judgment and reckless behavior by people operating a motor vehicle. A young family of 4 (including 2 children) all killed due to the reckless disregard of human life by a person who made a conscious decision to drink alcoholic beverages then get in a car and try to drive.

As a traffic operations project engineer for the U.S. wide program Traffic Operations Projects to Increase Capacity and Safety (TOPICS) I made it my mission to provide every possible roadway safety advantage to Florida drivers by insisting we incorporate the best available highway safety technology on Florida’s roads and highways.

For example, we installed crash attenuation devices at locations subject to vehicle crash injuries. Other improvements include proper installation of fixed object guardrail, proper street lighting, placing roadway signs on frangible supports or moving large fixed objects and sign supports away from traffic lanes.

Alas, I attempt to do the same for Tallahassee and our surrounding communities with my Street Scene column as I sometimes must swim upstream to make driving in Tallahassee more enjoyable and safe.

What we do together as a community represents who we are. By the way, one of the things we are, is the capital of Florida. We should have the best of everything when it comes to public safety. 

Please come out Thursday to say hello to those in your community dedicated to keeping us all safe. And to applaud Tallahassee Community College professor Reggie Grant and his terrific pupils for their tremendous effort in putting together such a splendid, worthwhile, fun to learn, traffic safety message.

Remember, a green light only means you have the right-if-way. You must look and make sure the other driver isn’t running the red light before entering the intersection. Godspeed, hope to see you Thursday. 

Philip Stuart ( is a retired Florida State Trooper, traffic operations project engineer and forensics expert witness. Send questions to [email protected].

Original Article Published by the Tallahassee Democrat