The Driving Safety Podcast

The Driver’s Alert Driving Safety Podcast is an ongoing series of conversations with some of the most influential people in the field of transportation safety, addressing important topics such as distracted driving, aggressive driving, seat belt usage, traffic laws, connected cars, autonomous vehicles and so much more.

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Ep21 – Paul Grattan – High-Speed Pursuits

Paul Grattan is a sergeant and 18-year veteran of the New York City Police Department. Over his career in law enforcement, his assignments have included patrol, narcotics, undercover, community policing and communications. Sergeant Grattan is also the Northeast Representative for Pursuit Alert, a technology that alerts nearby motorists and the local community when a high-speed pursuit is underway. In this episode, we talk about the surprising frequency of police chases, the toll they take on police officers and innocent bystanders, and how technology is being employed by police departments to protect the public during high-speed pursuits.

Ep20 – Michael DeKort – Autonomous Vehicles

Michael DeKort is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Dactle, a company committed to the “safe, ethical and efficient development and verification of autonomous vehicles and UAVs through the use of aerospace, Department of Defense (DoD) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) simulation technology.” In this episode, Michael issued a sobering warning to the public. He believes that if the autonomous vehicle industry continues to conduct real-world testing to gather the data required to build software algorithms that safely operate fully autonomous, Level 5 vehicles, thousands of innocent lives will be lost.

Ep19 – Scott Savage – Crisis Management

Scott Savage is a police officer in the Silicon Valley area with more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement. Over his illustrious career in public safety, Scott’s assignments have included SWAT, Crisis Negotiation, Vice, Narcotics, Surveillance, Terrorism and Intelligence, and Officer Training. He is also the founder at Savage Training Group, where he leverages his extensive experience as a first responder to help police officers “advance their careers, become experts and save lives.” In this episode we talked about how companies can apply law enforcement techniques used in critical incident response to better prepare for a crisis.

Ep18 – Officers Matt Baker and Marc Taraso – Distracted Driving

Matt Baker and Marc Taraso are police officers for the Halton Regional Police, a law enforcement agency serving more than 500,000 residents in a suburban area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The agency’s innovative approach to policing is highly effective because according to Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index, the Halton Region is the safest regional municipality of its size in Canada. In this episode, Officers Baker and Taraso discuss their efforts to eliminate the occurrences of cell phone use while driving. They explain that ending distracted driving isn’t just about enforcement, it’s about education.

Officer Marc Taraso

Officer Matt Baker

Ep17 – Ted Chen – Distracted Driving

Ted Chen is the Co-Founder at LifeSaver Mobile, a Silicon Valley-based technology company that has developed an app designed to prevent drivers from using their phone while driving. In this episode, we cover many aspects of the distracted driving epidemic including the insurance industry, law enforcement, cell phone policies for fleets and what it will ultimately take to make our roads smartphone-free. The LifeSaver app is available for both fleets and end consumers.

Ep16 – Officer Marcus Mahanty – The TacBook

Marcus Mahanty serves as a police officer in the greater San Diego, California area, and is the inventor of the TacBook—a pocket-sized, quick-reference tactical field guide for law enforcement that includes thousands of vehicle codes, health and safety codes, and penal codes. In this episode, Officer Mahanty talks about some of the responsibilities of a police officer and explains how the TacBook is already helping police around the country more easily perform their duties. We also discussed distracted driving, drunk driving and drowsy driving.

Ep15 – Tasha Hairston SpringsDistracted Driving

Tasha Hairston Springs is the Founder of Texting is Risky Business, an organization committed to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. On October 17, 2012, Tasha was texting and driving when she drifted out of her lane and collided with another vehicle. She spent six weeks in the hospital. In this episode, Tasha recounts her story and discusses her mission to end distracted driving.

Ep14 – Michael Welvaert – Corporate Safety

Michael Welvaert is the Regional Safety Director at Comfort Systems USA, a national heating, ventilation and air conditioning company with $2.5 billion in annual revenue. Prior to starting his career in corporate safety, Michael spent 25 years in the United States Navy, retiring as a Special Warfare Operator Chief (Navy SEAL). In this episode, Michael shares his experiences in safety management and offers advice for building a successful safety program.

Ep13 – Jacy Good – Distracted Driving

Jacy Good is a nationally-recognized speaker and the Co-Founder of Hang Up And Drive, an organization with a mission for cell-free roads. In 2008, Jacy lost both her parents, and nearly her own life, to a distracted driver. In this episode, Jacy discusses the epidemic of distracted driving and her work to educate the public about the dangers of cell phone use behind the wheel.


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