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N.C. Traffic Safety Awards Honor Those Fighting to Make Roads Safer

​​Mark Ezzel, NCGHSP director, pictured with Allan Delapenna, recipient of the Director’s Lifetime Achievement Award, at the N.C. Traffic Safety Awards ceremony in Raleigh.

​RALEIGH – People and organizations who have made major contributions to making North Carolina roads safer were honored this week at the 2022 N.C. Traffic Safety Conference.

“Traffic safety in North Carolina is truly a collaborative effort. These individuals and organizations have gone above and beyond in their work to make North Carolina roads safer, and as a result, have directly saved lives here in our state,” said N.C. Governor’s Highway Program Director Mark Ezzell, who distributed the awards on behalf of NCGHSP. 

View the complete gallery of the award winners. 

Director’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Allan Dellapenna, director, NC Division of Public Health’s Injury Prevention and Control Branch

  • As a member of the NC Child Fatality Task Force, Alan has been a stalwart public health voice for traffic safety. He’s been especially effective working behind the scenes to promote motorcycle safety, youth licensing and traffic safety among Native American communities.

Advocate Award: BikeWalkNC

  • BikeWalkNC supports advocacy and educational efforts throughout North Carolina for an environment that fairly and equitably accommodates bicyclists, pedestrians, and others using human-powered active transportation.

Educator Award: Eric Sweden, retired Raleigh Police officer, DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Test Instructor

  • Eric is a nationally renowned trainer who has been a part of the DWI world for many years and has a true passion for educating law enforcement officers across the state of North Carolina.

Judicial Partner of the Year: Elizabeth Floyd, assistant district attorney, Superior Court, District 32 (Iredell and Alexander counties)

  • Elizabeth goes above and beyond in her dedication to some exceptionally difficult traffic safety cases and is known for her excellent work with law enforcement and victim families. She prosecutes these cases to the fullest extent of the law, gaining justice for families impacted by traffic crimes.

Law Enforcement Partner of the Year 

Trooper Zach Price, NC Highway Patrol

  • In 2021, Trooper Zach Price arrested over 107 DWIs for and made 1,560 total charges. He is incredibly proficient in DWI's and helps keep the roads safer by not only arresting impaired drivers, but following through with excellent report writing and courtroom testimony.

Chief Darryll Decotis, Town of Navassa

  • Chief DeCotis has brought his traffic enforcement expertise to several agencies across the state during his 20+ years of service as a police officer and chief, including rebuilding Navassa’s police department from the ground up when he was hired in 2021.  

David MacAlpine Law Enforcement Liasion of the Year Award: Chief Scott Hamby, Columbus Police Department

  • Chief Hamby increased participation in his region’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program enforcement efforts from 55 percent to 100 percent, a level he has maintained since becoming chief in 2018.

Collaboration Award: Town of Chapel Hill Vision Zero Program

  • Chapel Hill's Vision Zero program combines the experience and perspectives of the diverse collaborative to deploy programming that make the streets safer for Chapel Hill residents and visitors. 

Program Award: Apex Police Department 

  • The Apex Police Department continues to incorporate traffic safety into its multi-year strategic goals, where they seek to improve traffic safety through education, enforcement, and traffic engineering design. 

Traffic Safety Partner of the Year Award: Kenny Benfield, drug recognition expert and instructor 

  • Kenny has over 20 years in law enforcement and is a Drug Recognition Expert and instructor. He has expertise in all areas of traffic safety including the technical areas of breath and blood chemistry and testing. He is a fountain of institutional knowledge with the machinations of State government and the best ways to achieve traffic safety goals.


8/17/2022 4:08 PM