Leading Traffic Safety Advocate To Retire After 30 Years

West Manchester Township resident Wayne Harper in 1986 was working as a local radio host when he accepted what he thought would be a temporary job promoting seat belt use with former York County Coroner Katherine Fourhman.

The team's work would ultimately expand in scope to become the York County Center for Traffic Safety, which is responsible for a variety of programs throughout southcentral Pennsylvania meant to reduce traffic crashes, injuries and deaths.

Harper will retire on May 31 as director of the program and perhaps the region's most staunch advocate for safety on local roads.WayneHarper

"Countless people are alive today because of Wayne's leadership and unwavering commitment to traffic safety," said York County Commissioner Doug Hoke. "We thank him for dedicating his career to such an important cause and wish him a long and happy retirement."

Although headquartered in York County, the Center for Traffic Safety's purview extends into eight Pennsylvania counties with the bulk of its work focused on York, Adams, Lancaster, Lebanon and York.

In addition to promoting seat belt use, the office also works to improve child passenger safety, pedestrian safety, vehicle safety, motorcycle safety, mature driving, teen safe driving and combat DUI.

It is best known for coordinating DUI checkpoints and programs such as annual high school seat belt challenges, safe driving competitions for youth, traffic safety public safety announcement (PSA) contests, annual traffic safety seminars for law enforcement and driver education instructor workshops.

"He has set the bar for community traffic safety programs in Pennsylvania," said George Geisler, director of law enforcement services in eastern Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania DUI Association. "He is the person and the program everyone else in the state should emulate."

Harper said a key to the Center's success is the support of law enforcement, schools, local businesses and other community organizations.

“I have been blessed with a tremendous staff and outstanding support from all the institutions in York County,” Harper said. “The citizens of York County are second to none, and I’m fortunate to have lived and worked here.

“I thank current and previous boards of County Commissioners for their solid support of what has become a regional program and the hundreds of citizens for their involvement in promoting traffic safety through the years,” he said. “It’s the people I will miss most. But I know I leave the office in capable hands to continue promoting traffic safety in the years to come.”

Harper doesn't have any specific plans for retirement other than to spend more time with his wife, three children and five grandchildren, he said. He also plans to continue involvement in his “other life,” local auto racing. He serves as communications director at Trail-Way Speedway and track announcer at Lincoln Speedway.

He will be replaced as director by Traffic Safety Specialist Barb Zortman, a 19-year veteran of the office.

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