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Toward Zero Deaths Program Honors Prof. Simon (’71)

SEPTEMBER 5, 2012—Professor Emeritus Stephen M. Simon (’71) has been named the recipient of the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) Program's Star Award for public leadership in recognition of his exceptional efforts to reduce deaths on Minnesota's roads. Simon, who recently retired after more than 30 years on the Law School's clinical faculty, is known for his extensive service, research, and writing on DWI, traffic safety, and law reform topics.

He will receive the award on Oct. 22, 2012, at the statewide conference presented by the Minnesota TZD Program and the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety, Transportation, and Health, hosted by the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies and facilitated by the College of Continuing Education. The conference, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Bloomington, Minn., provides a forum for information on best practices in education, enforcement, traffic engineering, and emergency services to reduce Minnesota traffic injuries and fatalities.

A public defender, a prosecutor, and an attorney in private practice before joining the Law School in 1980, Simon taught the Misdemeanor Defense Clinic, the Misdemeanor Prosecution Clinic, and trial practice. He founded the Minnesota Criminal Justice System DWI Task Force in 1982 and served as its director until 2010, overseeing its efforts toward stricter regulations for repeat offenders, which significantly improved the safety of Minnesota roads. He also developed the Judicial Trial Skills Training Program in 1982, an introduction to courtroom management for new judges that was one of the first of its kind in the country.

Simon chaired the 1992 Minnesota Legislature Commission on the Treatment and Confinement of DWI Recidivists and, as a member of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association's (MCAA) Impaired Driving Educational Alliance Committee, helped identify and meet the training and resource needs of the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor. In 2010 he was the first recipient of the MCAA's new annual Traffic Safety Award, created to honor individuals for their work to improve traffic safety, save lives, and enhance justice in prosecuting impaired drivers.

TZD is a national program created to promote national, state, and local highway-safety planning and to encourage officials to implement the necessary changes. Minnesota's TZD program reports a 10.5% decrease in traffic deaths in 2011 from 2010, the fourth consecutive annual decrease.