It pays off to encourage safety.

The Benewah County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) was recently recognized by the Idaho Transportation Department for having zero crash related fatalities in 2020.

The BCSO was invited to the Idaho State Police Region 1 Office in Coeur d’Alene earlier this month to accept the award from the ITD.

Undersheriff Tyler Morris said he and Sheriff Tony Eells were surprised they had been selected for the honor and had to double check the accuracy.

“Honestly, we had to go back to our logs and make sure there were no deaths,” Undersheriff Morris said. “In the last five years or so we’ve had a few, so we were shocked. We wanted to make sure we deserved the honor.”

Undersheriff Morris said the award was presented by ITD highway Safety Manager John Tomlinson and that Benewah County was one of two counties in the state selected for the honor.

He said he contributes the increase in safe driving to a few different factors.

“I think people are really watching their speed and paying attention when they are driving,” Undersheriff Morris said. “And I think a lot of it too is ITD getting roads fixed and making them safer.”

He also said he thinks the increase in patrols on the more dangerous roads in the county has gotten motorists to drive safer.

“I think seeing Idaho State Police and BCSO out running more traffic is keeping people more honest,” he said.

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