E-mail from Indiana State Senator Tom Wyss sent on January 28, 2010:
Wyss Named ‘Legislator of the Year’ for Public Safety Accomplishments
State Sen. Tom Wyss was recognized today for his leadership, teamwork and tireless efforts in passing legislation that promotes public safety.
Wyss was honored by the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as the “Legislator of the Year” this morning at a ceremony in downtown Indianapolis.
“I am humbled to receive this award,” Wyss said. “I have tried to use my experiences and my position as a State Senator to fight for laws that make Indiana communities safer. I know that much more can be done to improve public safety in our state and I will continue to seek new ways to help protect Hoosiers.”
As chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Transportation and Veterans Affairs, Wyss has consistently authored and supported legislation helping to decrease deaths on Indiana’s roads.
In December, Wyss joined Indiana state officials to announce the state’s lowest traffic-related deaths total since 1925. Gov. Mitch Daniels cited Wyss’ efforts on public safety legislation as a major factor in this statistic.
Wyss sponsored legislation in 2007 to extend Indiana’s seat belt law to cover pick-up trucks. Wyss estimated as many as 50 to 75 lives per year might be saved because of this law.
In 2004, Wyss authored the child restraint systems law which requires children from birth to age one to be in a rear facing infant seat. Also, the law requires a booster seat be used for children ages 4 to 8 to help reduce the number of catastrophic injuries.
Wyss won an 11-year battle in 2001 to lower Indiana’s legal blood alcohol level from .10 to point .08.
Founded in 2005, the IACP raises awareness of public safety issues and promotes opportunities for law enforcement members throughout Indiana.
Wyss has also received the 2009 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Award for Public Service, the 2009 National Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Award and the 2008 “Legislator of the Year” award from the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association.