Dennis C. Murphy, champion for highway safety - The Buffalo News
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Dennis C. Murphy, champion for highway safety

March 10, 1933 – Feb. 5, 2014

Dennis C. Murphy, a leader in highway safety issues, died Feb. 5 in Sarasota, Fla. He was 80.

Mr. Murphy, of Williamsville, was born in Detroit. He graduated from Kensington High School, the University at Buffalo, Northwestern University and Loyola University, where he earned a doctorate.

He served as an Air Force officer during the Korean War.

Over a 50-year professional career, Mr. Murphy became a leader in highway safety issues in Erie County and New York State.

He championed such causes as the state STOP-DWI Program and seat belt legislation to reduce the risk of serious driving-related injuries and deaths.

Early in his career, he worked in traffic law enforcement as an accident investigation unit leader with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department. He also worked as an instructor at the Central Police Academy.

Among many projects, he crafted the Buffalo Bills stadium traffic routing when the Orchard Park stadium was built.

Mr. Murphy also served on the Governors Traffic Safety Committee, working under four governors – Nelson Rockefeller, Malcolm Wilson, Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo – to advance highway safety.

He received many traffic safety awards, often being introduced at ceremonies as “Mr. Highway Safety.”

He retired in 1993.

Mr. Murphy also was involved in community activities, including the Erie County Traffic Safety Board and Village of Williamsville Traffic Board.

He served as president of the Amherst Gaelic League.

He was married for 58 years to the former Dorothy Wirth.

Survivors include a son, Dennis P.; three sisters, Kathleen E., Melissa A. Burke and Megan K. Murphy-Hancock; and five grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in SS. Peter & Paul Church, 5480 Main St., Williamsville.

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