Everyone knows that traffic tickets can result in court appearances, fines, and higher insurance costs. However, you may have additional options in Mecklenburg, Wake, and select other North Carolina counties that can save you money while improving your driving. Since 1989 our Safe Driving Program has provided drivers with potential reductions on a traffic violation in exchange for completing the 4-hour National Safety Council Defensive Driving Course.
The Safety and Health Council of North Carolina was founded in 1960 as the Citizen’s Safety Association of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. Citizen’s Safety Association began as a local organization focusing on traffic and community safety in the greater Charlotte area. CSA was chartered as a local Chapter by the National Safety Council to serve Mecklenburg County. A long-time United Way agency, the Association assumed independent financial status in 1987. In 1988, the National Safety Council approved our organizational name change and expansion request. The Citizen’s Safety Association of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. became the Safety and Health Council of North Carolina serving the entire State of North Carolina.
A Board of Directors governs the Council. All members of the Board of Directors serve as unpaid volunteers. Board members represent industry, individuals, and government. The Board and its committees determine policies and procedures to be carried out by professional staff. Council employs eighteen full time and three part time employees to operate the Charlotte and Raleigh offices. Approximately thirty part time instructors are contracted for defensive driving and occupational safety training as needed.
It is the Council’s goal to provide up-to-date information and training that gives clear, practical guidance for preventing accidents and illnesses. The Safety and Health Council of North Carolina maintains quality training programs, resource services and educational materials to make life safer, healthier and happier. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit association, the Council’s ultimate responsibility is to improve the safety and health of the community at large. A substantial amount of generated revenues is returned to the community through training, materials, and information services free of charge.
Council funding comes from three main sources: fees for on-site and open enrollment training programs; dues paid by more than 1200 corporate, agency and individual members; and the sale of safety products—primarily the resale of National Safety Council products. Every year, the Council ranks in the top 5 National Safety Council Chapters for product sales.
The Council has become an acknowledged resource for occupational safety and defensive driving information and training. In 1996, the Council created the Manager of Environmental, Safety and Health (MESH) certificate program in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Labor and NC State University. In twelve years, over 600 students have completed the training requirements for the certificate. In 2007, the Council, NC State, and the NC Department of Labor introduced the Advanced MESH program. Two weeks of advanced training in safety and environmental are required to complete this program. And, in 2008, the Construction MESH program was announced. C-MESH is similar to MESH requirements except the focus is on construction safety rather than on general industry.
The Council trains more than 60,000 drivers annually in the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Courses. Since July, 1989, we have established safe driving partnerships with twenty two judicial districts that prosecute traffic violations in 54 North Carolina counties. Drivers cited in these counties can avail themselves of a variety of courses in exchange for a reduction on select traffic violations. The Council contracts with 30 community colleges as our Training Sub-Agencies to deliver the courses across North Carolina. They offer the courses under our Safe Driving Program Agreement.
The results of the organized safety movement are measurable. Since 1913 when the National Safety Council was founded, accidental rates per 100,000 population in the United States have been reduced by 55 percent. The reduction in rate during a period when the nation’s population nearly tripled has resulted in 4,300,000 fewer people being killed due to unintentional injuries than there would have been if the rate had not been reduced. A wide variety of Council programs now teach individuals to put safety first on the road, in the home, on the job, and in the community.