Program Spotlight Archives

A place to find past Coalition spotlighted programs. 

May Spotlight: Drug Evaluation and Classification Program

Program funded from MoDOT Highway Safety and Traffic Division

This program originated in the early 1970's by the Los Angeles Police Department. Back then, law enforcement officers reasonably suspected that the arrestees were under the influence of drugs but lacked the knowledge and skills to support their suspicions. In response, two LAPD sergeants collaborated with various medical doctors, research psychologists and other medical professionals to develop a simple, standardized procedure for recognizing drug influence and impairment. Their efforts culminated in the development of a multi-step protocol and the first Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program. The LAPD formally recognized the Drug Recognition Expert program in 1979. It was later renamed the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP). Missouri’s program is housed at the Missouri Safety Center. There are approximately 156 active Drug Recognition Experts in the State. Missouri has one to two DRE Schools a year that consist of two weeks of classroom work followed by one week of Field Certifications where students put what was taught in the two week school to practical use. Field Certification sites vary class to class, however Missouri has recently been working with Pennsylvania at a site in Philadelphia that has been proven to be a successful site. The class held in April recently came back from Philadelphia completing 128 evaluations in four days by 21 students. To put that in perspective, in Missouri 475 enforcement evaluations were conducted in all of 2022 and 154 have been completed so far for 2023. Officers interested in becoming a DRE should submit an application to the State Coordinator, Robert Paul. A Technical Advisory Panel reviews the applicants and selects the students for the class based on needs in an area or agency. If seats are still available after filling the program needs, then agencies can add more DREs. For more information about the DRE Program, contact Robert Paul at


April Spotlight: A University of Missouri Program

Program funded from MoDOT Highway Safety and Traffic Division

MU School of Medicine’s Injury Prevention Program, ThinkFirst, has a mission to prevent traumatic injuries through education, research, and policy. The goal is to educate people, especially young people, and their caregivers about their vulnerability to brain and spinal cord injuries, common causes of these injuries, and how to prevent them. ThinkFirst for Teens is free and open to any school or community program involving teens. This presentation can be done assembly style or in a classroom setting. The presentation provides an explanation on the basic anatomy of the central nervous system and the permanent physiological changes caused by a brain or spinal cord injury. Students learn the common causes of these injuries and how they could be prevented. This information is followed up by the personal testimony of a ThinkFirst Voices for Injury Prevention speaker. These speakers have sustained a brain or spinal cord injury, usually due to a motor vehicle crash. The students then have the opportunity to engage with the speakers through a question-and-answer session. ThinkFirst has been doing presentations for going on 45 years. ThinkFirst for Teens is presented to over a 100 schools per year. If you are interested in more information or would like to schedule a ThinkFirst for Teens presentation in your school or community, please contact Nancy Foster at or call 573-882-1176.


March Safety Spotlight - Farm Safety  

As Highway Safety advocates, it is not only our responsibility to educate the public on the importance of wearing a seat belt for every trip, not driving distracted or impaired, wearing your motorcycle helmet, and to not speed, it is also our duty to educate the public on slow moving vehicles, as they are of vital importance to our food supply.  In 2018, the existing, but not active Farm Safety Committee reconvened with new vigor and new members, to showcase, emphasize and educate the public on multiple safety issues facing farmers today.  Topics that are addressed include but are not limited to; State Fair education, rural health care for farmers, farmer suicide prevention, grain bin safety, rollover safety and highway safety.  In the beginning, Coalition funding was awarded to sponsor a small media campaign that focused on spring planting and fall harvest, and is geared to educate and remind the public what to do when encountering slow moving vehicles on the roadway.  This campaign has blossomed into a much larger media push that has the capacity to reach many more drivers. According to Farm Bureau, the average farmer feeds 166 people, so losing a farmer in any circumstance can be devastating to the community.  Our goal with Show-Me Farm Safety is to provide educational resources, tips and safety plans to producers and their families on and off the farm. 

To view other Farm Safety media messaging, please visit Slow Moving Farm Vehicle Awareness | Missouri Department of Transportation (

To get further information on Farm Safety, please visit Welcome to Show-Me Farm Safety - Show-Me Farm Safety (



TRACTION: Teens Taking Action To Prevent Traffic Crashes

The TRACTION Program is a youth traffic leadership training program designed to empower high school students to take an active role in preventing traffic crashes and promoting safe driving habits. It is based on the belief that the youth themselves can become a powerful force, creating positive changes within their schools and communities.

TRACTION is a carefully developed three-day training program for students and their advisors. This model is designed to develop natural leadership skills within our youth; to explore knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to the cause and effect of traffic crashes. Teams develop an action plan, enabling students to plan and carry out specific projects during the school year to promote safe driving habits and prevent traffic crashes.

TRACTION consists of two phases:

  • TRACTION Training Conference – 6 to 14 students and 2 advisors from each high school are invited to attend one of the summer conferences as school teams. As teams actively participate, they will not only receive educational training, but will also develop individualized team action plans to be implemented within their own schools upon their return.
  • Implementation of Action Plans – In the following school year their action plan developed during the summer conference are carried out through the support of the adult advisors, student team members, and additional students who will be recruited to assist with these events. As a result, TRACTION has the potential to have a very positive effect, not only on the participants themselves, but also on their schools and their entire community.

2023 Conference Dates

  • Cape Girardeau – Drury Plaza & Conference Center: July 16-18, 2023
  • Kansas City – Embassy Suites by Hilton: July 20-22, 2023

The summer conference schedule includes general sessions, 7 workshops, team break-out time, recreational activities and other fun, surprise events. The conference is designed to be high energy and provides activities from early morning until late evening.
Participants must pay a $15.00 registration fee.  All other expenses (lodging, meals and conference materials) are covered.   Teams are responsible for their own transportation expenses.


Keep Your Keys

MU Health Care’s Injury Prevention Program developed the Keep Your Keys program to help drivers aged 55 and older stay on the roadways as long as it’s safely possible. The goal is to reduce motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes involving older drivers through education and prevention methods. The Keep Your Keys program is free and open to any older adult and their family members or caretakers.

This class provides resources and information to help guide making informed decisions about current driving status, as well as staying medically and physically fit to drive. Topics in these classes include tips to navigate new roadway constructions, how to self-assess current driving status and the importance of developing a transportation plan. To accompany the class, the Fit to Drive booklet was developed by MU Health Care, with assistance from the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety’s Subcommittee for Elder Mobility and Safety, that provides information on the best ways to approach roadway safety.

If you are interested in more information or would like to schedule a Keep Your Keys presentation in your community please email or call (573)884-7143.