Trent-Iaquinta to lead regional traffic safety efforts at PPACG

Headshot of Trish Trent-Iaquinta with a blurry image of Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods in the background

COLORADO SPRINGS – Trish Trent-Iaquinta, most recently the Colorado state coordinator at Students Against Destructive Decisions, joined the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments as the first regional traffic safety champion. She began her duties on Dec. 7, 2023.

“I’m excited to continue working in the area of traffic safety education and with the numerous existing organizations and programs working to make our roads safer for everyone,” said Trent-Iaquinta. “We have noticed a change in the causes of our most serious crashes since the pandemic, and it’s important to recognize that we need to adjust our education and messaging to make sure people are keeping themselves, their families, their friends, and even strangers, safe while driving, walking or cycling.”

The new position of regional traffic safety champion will work closely with Drive Smart Colorado, a non-profit organization supported by PPACG, to bring back a cohesive strategy for addressing the increasing number of serious injury and fatality traffic crashes in the region. The need for the position was identified in the Community Safety Education Report and accepted by the PPACG Board of Directors in October 2023.

Trent-Iaquinta was the Colorado state coordinator at SADD before her position was eliminated due to a national reorganization. At SADD, she worked alongside community partners to develop, support and educate Colorado teens in traffic safety and built relationships with law enforcement, school officials, hospital professionals and students to encourage and promote each other’s programming. Trent-Iaquinta worked collaboratively with stakeholders to improve programming content in rural areas and with minority populations. She implemented programming in more than 50 high schools and community centers while managing and collaborating throughout the state at community events.

“Trish brings a wealth of experience in implementing traffic safety programs and existing relationships with several individuals and organizations in our region that will allow her to quickly start addressing the troubling trends in our region,” said Andrew Gunning, executive director at PPACG. “We’re grateful for the grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation that will allow Trish to support Drive Smart Colorado in reestablishing itself as a community collaborator and organizer to bring the number of serious injuries and deaths due to traffic crashes back down.”

Trent-Iaquinta earned her master’s degree in public health administration and community health from Colorado State University and her bachelor’s degree in athletic training and sport medicine from the University of New Mexico.

The position is funded by a three-year from the Highway Safety Office within the Office of Transportation Safety at the Colorado Department of Transportation.

About the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments

PPACG’s 16 local governments collaborate on issues that cross political boundaries and work together to reach solutions that benefit the entire Pikes Peak region. PPACG’s primary focus is regional planning in transportation, aging issues, military impact planning and air and water quality.

About Drive Smart Colorado

DRIVE SMART COLORADO’s mission is to reduce the number of traffic crashes and deaths in Colorado by assisting communities in building partnerships and successful traffic safety campaigns and programs. The organization has a strong 30-year track record of enhancing traffic safety through educational campaigns to increase seat belt use, promote substance-free driving, impart positive behind-the-wheel behavior, boost motorcycle safety, enhance child passenger and pedestrian safety, and support safe teen driving.