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Highway Safety Awards

Each year, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) presents a number of awards for various achievements in the area of traffic safety in Oklahoma.

These awards are presented at the annual Oklahoma Traffic Safety Summit.

Nominations for the 2021 Highway Safety Awards are open.

2020 Highway Safety Award Winners

J.C. Burris Memorial Award

Jenny Rollins

Duane Clark Memorial Award

Liz Gifford

Outstanding Achievement in Highway Safety Award

Travis Estep

Valerie Trammell

Jeff Sifers

Tavia Dooley Safe Communities Award

Stacy Potter

Award Categories

J.C. Burris Award

The J.C. Burris Memorial Award was established in 2006 to honor the memory, hard work, dedication, passion, and tireless effort with which Lt. J.C. Burris carried out his work as Law Enforcement Liaison for the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. It is presented annually to the person who most exemplifies the qualities we associate with J.C.

Lt. Burris, an 18-year veteran with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, was known as the face of the “Click It or Ticket” seat belt campaign. As Law Enforcement Liaison to the OHSO, Lt. Burris spent most of his time spreading the message of traffic safety. He had a particular “heart” for the matter of occupant protection for people of all ages.

Lt. Burris, known nationally by those involved in traffic safety and underage drinking prevention, represented Oklahoma well because of his professionalism and attention to detail. J.C. left a legacy of hard work, commitment, courage, and passion.

The recipient of each year’s J.C. Burris Award truly exemplifies the qualities and characteristics which J.C. displayed throughout his lifetime.

Duane Clark Award

In 1966, the Highway Safety Act was authorized by Congress, and in 1967 the Oklahoma Legislature created the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Shortly thereafter, in 1968, the OHSO hired a man who would come to exemplify excellence.

Duane Clark set a standard for highway safety that is unsurpassed. For almost 25 years, he was the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. It is because of his continued leadership and dedication to traffic safety issues that we salute him with this award.

When Duane began at the office in 1968, he was a Program Manager. Upon his retirement in 1993, he was Chief of Highway Safety Planning & Programs, a position he held for many years. During his tenure, he created many innovative programs and campaigns. He was directly responsible for the supervision of all grants, and key in the passage of traffic safety legislation, such as the original safety belt law and car seat legislation.

No matter what rank or position held, whether a Highway Safety Office staff member, a NHTSA employee, or a contractor; people respected Duane. He was more than a leader to the many employees that crossed his path throughout the years. He was a second father to some, and a friend to all. Duane Clark died in 1997, but his legacy at the Highway Safety Office lives on in this award.

Tavia Dooley Safe Communities Award

This award is named after Tavia Dooley. Dooley was a secretary with the Broken Arrow Police Department and was a driving force behind the Tulsa Safe Communities group for many years. Tavia's dedication to traffic safety in her community made her an excellent role model for other community leaders.

Safe Communities or Traffic Safety Coalition groups may include not only law enforcement agencies, but non-profit organizations, health care advocates, local government offices, community groups, schools, faith-based organizations, tribal agencies, and other types of organizations. In 2015, this award was renamed as a memorial award in honor of Tavia Dooley.

Outstanding Achievement in Highway Safety Award

In 2020, the Outstanding Achievement in Highway Safety Award was developed. These awards are intended to recognize partners across the state for outstanding efforts in highway safety programs. These awards may include project directors, agencies, or other community partners who have made a significant contribution to traffic safety in our state in the last year(s).