Rotary honors trooper, learns texting dangers

The Concordville-Chadds Ford Rotary honored a state trooper and learned the dangers of distracted driving during the group’s May 2 lunch meeting at Pescatores Restaurant.

Tpr. Luke McIlvaine was named Trooper of the Year and was thanked by the Rotary after a brief introduction from his supervisor, Cpl. Matthew Sheeren. Sheeren said McIlvaine is willing to take any assignment given to him, is always the first to help, will volunteer for assignments without hesitation "and always treats the public with respect."

Sheeren referenced McIlvaine’s statistics, citing more than 50 narcotics arrests, five gun-arrests along with more than 100 other felony and misdemeanor arrests in 2017. Even on the way to the Rotary lunch, McIlvaine made a traffic stop and apprehended an individual wanted for theft.

Pastor Will Stern, of Hope Presbyterian Church in Concord Township, made the actual presentation.

Following the Trooper of the Year ceremony, Westtown-Goshen Rotary Vice President Mark Rudiger gave a presentation on Rotarians Against Distracted Driving, focusing on the dangers of texting while driving.

He said 7,000 people die and up to 150,000 people are seriously injured every year due to distracted driving, primarily from texting.

"It’s getting worse," he said. "Five to six years ago deaths on the highway, which had peaked at 55,000 got down to 30,000 but right now, it’s going the other way. In the last two or three years, deaths on the highway are going up 15 percent per year and pedestrian deaths are going up 23 percent."

He said those increases are all due to distracted driving and distracted walking because "people are texting in the car and people are walking while doing the same thing."

To make the point stronger, Rudiger cited the 17 shooting deaths at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 of this year. "Seventeen people die every day because of texting while driving…The epidemic we have today is caused by behavior."

In an attempt to stem that epidemic, Rudiger gave everyone a handout with statistics and a pledge card with a promise not to text. He said he wanted the Concordville-Chadds Ford group to buy more of those handouts and take them to local schools to get kids to sign them, and to get their parents to initial that they, too, are aware of the dangers of distracted driving.



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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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