Governor's Representative for Highway Safety to Retire on April 30; Joe Parker Credited With Making North Carolina Programs Into National Models

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Governor's Highway Safety Program

    RALEIGH, N.C., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Joe
 Parker, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP) and
 Governor's Representative for Highway Safety, will retire from both positions
 on April 30.  He notified Gov. Mike Easley of his intention to step down in
 January.
     Parker, 69, has led the state's highway safety program since 1993.  Soon
 after his arrival, he established the Governor's Highway Safety Initiative and
 created "Click It or Ticket," North Carolina's much-praised seat belt and
 child passenger safety program.  "Booze It & Lose It," the anti-impaired
 driving campaign, followed in 1994.  Both have been recognized as national
 models for traffic enforcement and public education campaigns.
     In fact, for the first time, "Click It or Ticket" will be the working
 model this spring throughout the Southeast.  Other participating states
 include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and
 Tennessee.  North Carolina's campaign will begin May 14 and continue through
 June 3.
     Since Parker joined the GHSP, North Carolina lawmakers united to pass
 significant legislation that strengthened the state's highway safety laws.
 Among the improvements were Graduated Driver Licensing; increasing age, weight
 and position requirements for safety seat and seat belt use; adding points to
 the license of drivers who violate child passenger safety laws, and toughening
 penalties for impaired driving -- including the permanent loss of both driving
 privileges and the driver's vehicle.
     "I am proud that legislators saw fit to give law enforcement officers and
 judges better tools to require seat belt and child safety seat use, and to put
 a stop to the devastation of drunk and drugged driving," Parker said.  "I
 thank everyone who worked so hard to turn these goals into realities.  Much
 more needs to be done to save lives and prevent injuries on our roadways, but
 I believe we are moving in the right direction."
     National highway safety advocates agree.  In January, Parker received the
 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Public Service Award,
 its highest commendation, for "his extraordinary leadership to reduce traffic
 deaths and injuries."  Prior to that, Parker was a leading candidate to become
 NHTSA Administrator had there been a Gore Administration.
     "Under Joe Parker's leadership, North Carolina has been one of the Top 10
 states for high seat belt use and for low alcohol-related traffic fatalities,"
 said Adele Derby, NHTSA Associate Administrator.  "Joe Parker has saved
 lives."
     Chuck Hurley, executive director for highway safety at the National Safety
 Council in Washington, DC, concurred.  "North Carolina has made great strides
 in highway safety, and Joe Parker had a lot to do with that.  I've had the
 honor of working with a lot of leaders across the country, and not many can
 match Joe's commitment or enthusiasm.  'Click It or Ticket' and 'Booze It &
 Lose It' are the proven ways to increase safety and decrease fatalities on our
 roadways.  It's a lesson North Carolina has taught the nation, and Joe Parker
 has been the messenger."
     Prior to joining state government, Parker was principal stockholder,
 president and chief executive officer of Parker Brothers, Inc., a newspaper
 publishing and commercial printing concern in Ahoskie.  The business was sold
 in 1988 to Park Communications.
     Always interested in public policy, Parker was an organizer of
 Northeastern North Carolina Tomorrow, a 16-county economic development
 organization based at Elizabeth City State University.  He served eight years
 on Gov. Jim Hunt's State Goals and Policy Board, four of them as vice
 chairman.
     Other civic activities include membership on the board of trustees of Pitt
 County Memorial Hospital; vice chairman of the Roanoke Island Historical
 Association; chairman of the Hertford County Economic Development Commission;
 and founder of the Hertford County Committee of 100.  He is listed in Who's
 Who in America and Who's Who in Finance and Industry.
     Parker served 35 years in the military, primarily in the North Carolina
 Army National Guard, retiring with the rank of Colonel.  He served as the NC
 Guard's first State Public Affairs Officer from 1977 to 1985.  He later served
 two tours at the Pentagon as a public affairs spokesman.
     Parker is a graduate of the United States Army War College and holds a
 master's degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina
 at Chapel Hill.
     Parker and his wife of 44 years, Lauretta, are members of the Hayes-Barton
 United Methodist Church and reside in the Oak Park subdivision in Raleigh.
 They have two children, Katherine Parker-Lowe, an attorney in Ocracoke, and
 Joseph W. Parker, an attorney in Durham.
 
 
     Memorandum
 
     To:    Editors
     From:  Joe Parker, Director
            Governor's Highway Safety Program
     Re:    Retirement
     Date:  April 24, 2001
 
     Forgive this informal communication, as I've come to know many of you well
 over the years.  After eight years of service to the Governor's Highway Safety
 Program, I will retire on April 30.  I would be most grateful if you would
 publish the brief letter below, in which I attempt to thank the many people --
 particularly local law enforcement agencies -- who have made this job so
 wonderfully difficult to leave.  I also thank you for all you and your staff
 have done to promote "Click It or Ticket," "Booze it & Lose It," and highway
 safety in general.
 
      Letter to the Editor:
 
      After eight years and countless miles of travel on North Carolina
      roadways, the time has come for me to step down as director of the
      Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP).  It has been an extraordinary
      ride, and it's all because of the dedicated support of people too
      numerous to name.
 
      Suffice it to say the success of "Click It or Ticket," the state's seat
      belt and child passenger safety program, and "Booze It & Lose It," the
      campaign to rid our roads of drunk and drugged drivers, would not have
      been possible without much hard work.  I would like to thank the local
      law enforcement officers, fire & rescue personnel, health providers and
      highway safety advocates who have joined me in this grand crusade.  I'd
      also like to thank the legislators who saw fit to toughen our highway
      safety laws, and the judges who stand ready to make those laws work.
 
      While I will leave the GHSP on April 30, just two weeks before the
      kickoff of the spring "Click It" campaign, please know that I'll never be
      far from the sidelines, ready to commend your tireless efforts to save
      lives and prevent injuries on our roadways.
 
      Regards,
      Joe Parker
 
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X17845112
 
 

SOURCE Governor's Highway Safety Program
    RALEIGH, N.C., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Joe
 Parker, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP) and
 Governor's Representative for Highway Safety, will retire from both positions
 on April 30.  He notified Gov. Mike Easley of his intention to step down in
 January.
     Parker, 69, has led the state's highway safety program since 1993.  Soon
 after his arrival, he established the Governor's Highway Safety Initiative and
 created "Click It or Ticket," North Carolina's much-praised seat belt and
 child passenger safety program.  "Booze It & Lose It," the anti-impaired
 driving campaign, followed in 1994.  Both have been recognized as national
 models for traffic enforcement and public education campaigns.
     In fact, for the first time, "Click It or Ticket" will be the working
 model this spring throughout the Southeast.  Other participating states
 include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and
 Tennessee.  North Carolina's campaign will begin May 14 and continue through
 June 3.
     Since Parker joined the GHSP, North Carolina lawmakers united to pass
 significant legislation that strengthened the state's highway safety laws.
 Among the improvements were Graduated Driver Licensing; increasing age, weight
 and position requirements for safety seat and seat belt use; adding points to
 the license of drivers who violate child passenger safety laws, and toughening
 penalties for impaired driving -- including the permanent loss of both driving
 privileges and the driver's vehicle.
     "I am proud that legislators saw fit to give law enforcement officers and
 judges better tools to require seat belt and child safety seat use, and to put
 a stop to the devastation of drunk and drugged driving," Parker said.  "I
 thank everyone who worked so hard to turn these goals into realities.  Much
 more needs to be done to save lives and prevent injuries on our roadways, but
 I believe we are moving in the right direction."
     National highway safety advocates agree.  In January, Parker received the
 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Public Service Award,
 its highest commendation, for "his extraordinary leadership to reduce traffic
 deaths and injuries."  Prior to that, Parker was a leading candidate to become
 NHTSA Administrator had there been a Gore Administration.
     "Under Joe Parker's leadership, North Carolina has been one of the Top 10
 states for high seat belt use and for low alcohol-related traffic fatalities,"
 said Adele Derby, NHTSA Associate Administrator.  "Joe Parker has saved
 lives."
     Chuck Hurley, executive director for highway safety at the National Safety
 Council in Washington, DC, concurred.  "North Carolina has made great strides
 in highway safety, and Joe Parker had a lot to do with that.  I've had the
 honor of working with a lot of leaders across the country, and not many can
 match Joe's commitment or enthusiasm.  'Click It or Ticket' and 'Booze It &
 Lose It' are the proven ways to increase safety and decrease fatalities on our
 roadways.  It's a lesson North Carolina has taught the nation, and Joe Parker
 has been the messenger."
     Prior to joining state government, Parker was principal stockholder,
 president and chief executive officer of Parker Brothers, Inc., a newspaper
 publishing and commercial printing concern in Ahoskie.  The business was sold
 in 1988 to Park Communications.
     Always interested in public policy, Parker was an organizer of
 Northeastern North Carolina Tomorrow, a 16-county economic development
 organization based at Elizabeth City State University.  He served eight years
 on Gov. Jim Hunt's State Goals and Policy Board, four of them as vice
 chairman.
     Other civic activities include membership on the board of trustees of Pitt
 County Memorial Hospital; vice chairman of the Roanoke Island Historical
 Association; chairman of the Hertford County Economic Development Commission;
 and founder of the Hertford County Committee of 100.  He is listed in Who's
 Who in America and Who's Who in Finance and Industry.
     Parker served 35 years in the military, primarily in the North Carolina
 Army National Guard, retiring with the rank of Colonel.  He served as the NC
 Guard's first State Public Affairs Officer from 1977 to 1985.  He later served
 two tours at the Pentagon as a public affairs spokesman.
     Parker is a graduate of the United States Army War College and holds a
 master's degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina
 at Chapel Hill.
     Parker and his wife of 44 years, Lauretta, are members of the Hayes-Barton
 United Methodist Church and reside in the Oak Park subdivision in Raleigh.
 They have two children, Katherine Parker-Lowe, an attorney in Ocracoke, and
 Joseph W. Parker, an attorney in Durham.
 
 
     Memorandum
 
     To:    Editors
     From:  Joe Parker, Director
            Governor's Highway Safety Program
     Re:    Retirement
     Date:  April 24, 2001
 
     Forgive this informal communication, as I've come to know many of you well
 over the years.  After eight years of service to the Governor's Highway Safety
 Program, I will retire on April 30.  I would be most grateful if you would
 publish the brief letter below, in which I attempt to thank the many people --
 particularly local law enforcement agencies -- who have made this job so
 wonderfully difficult to leave.  I also thank you for all you and your staff
 have done to promote "Click It or Ticket," "Booze it & Lose It," and highway
 safety in general.
 
      Letter to the Editor:
 
      After eight years and countless miles of travel on North Carolina
      roadways, the time has come for me to step down as director of the
      Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP).  It has been an extraordinary
      ride, and it's all because of the dedicated support of people too
      numerous to name.
 
      Suffice it to say the success of "Click It or Ticket," the state's seat
      belt and child passenger safety program, and "Booze It & Lose It," the
      campaign to rid our roads of drunk and drugged drivers, would not have
      been possible without much hard work.  I would like to thank the local
      law enforcement officers, fire & rescue personnel, health providers and
      highway safety advocates who have joined me in this grand crusade.  I'd
      also like to thank the legislators who saw fit to toughen our highway
      safety laws, and the judges who stand ready to make those laws work.
 
      While I will leave the GHSP on April 30, just two weeks before the
      kickoff of the spring "Click It" campaign, please know that I'll never be
      far from the sidelines, ready to commend your tireless efforts to save
      lives and prevent injuries on our roadways.
 
      Regards,
      Joe Parker
 
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X17845112
 
 SOURCE  Governor's Highway Safety Program