Defensive driving course gains Iowa DOT National Safety Council Award

IA DOT_GETTING YOU THERE_GRADIENT-01While Iowa is a small state, our employees put a lot of miles on state-owned vehicles. Not only is brushing up on defensive driving skills an important way to help you stay safe behind the wheel, but it is also now required by the Iowa Department of Administrative Services for all employees who have access to Iowa DOT vehicles or who drive their own vehicles 5,000 miles or more for work each year.

MVE_logoThe Iowa DOT’s innovative approach to getting all required employees through the course has garnered the agency an award from the National Safety Council. The award commends the agency for the number of people who have successfully completed the course and for enlisting the assistance of our own Motor Vehicle Enforcement staff to administer the defensive driving curriculum.

Tim Carey, the Iowa DOT’s Employee Health and Safety Team Lead in the Employee Services Bureau, said, “One requirement of the course is that it be taught by a licensed law enforcement officer. We are fortunate to have law enforcement in our agency who are willing to step up to the challenge. Using the MVE officers allows us greater flexibility in scheduling training and gives employees an opportunity to interact with our MVE officers, which is something most of our staff wouldn’t normally have the chance to do. ”

Carey continued, “We started the training as an in-person class. Overall 817 people have been trained.  In January and February alone in 2020, we had 219 people complete the course. When COVID-19 hit, the in-person courses were stopped and we’re hoping to get a virtual training set up in DOTU starting in January. We’re working on how to notify those who will be required to take the class and will have more information on that as a plan is developed.”

The MVE staff who have stepped up to teach the course are:

  • Jared Arbegast
  • Emily Winkler
  • Jeff Doelz
  • Troy Kuecker
  • Chris Moline
  • Joe Nickell
  • Mike Rader
  • Austin Wilson
Officers 1
Officer Emily Winkler and Investigator Troy Kuecker with the award for teaching defensive driving.


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