Ossining, New York, is a small village with a big heart and a serious commitment to traffic safety. There have been no pedestrian vs vehicle accidents in the small bedroom community since 2009, and efforts to control traffic and promote driving safety have reduced accidents and incidents across the board.

The village also has Aggressive Driving and STOP-DWI programs aimed directly at a variety of unsafe driving behaviors. Police in Ossining focus their efforts directly on those drivers who flaunt existing laws, drive dangerously or simply don’t pay attention to the effect their behavior can have on the safety of others who might be sharing the road with them.

This week all that hard work has paid off in the form of a little recognition. Ossining was the recipient of a gold star award from AAA New York’s Community Traffic Safety Awards Program. Ossining also received a Pedestrian Safety Citation for no pedestrian fatalities in two years.

Ossining Mayor William Hanauer told reporters he was pleased with the award but happier about the positive impact their efforts were having on public safety in his community. “I’m happy we got the award, but I’m much happier about the lack of traffic deaths,” he said. “It’s a combination of things, but it’s mostly vigilance. We have a very dedicated police force, and I think this award is another example of that.”

Ossining was one of just 12 New York communities to receive traffic safety awards from AAA New York.

These awards are a sign of changing times in that communities now are almost forced to reconsider existing traffic safety plans due to a huge increase in the number of drivers on the road. They need to rely not just on established conventional wisdom but also common sense and ingenuity when it comes to finding new ways to deal with old issues (but in much larger numbers.)