Unflagging and dedicated service to the profession and in particular to the Institute of Transportation Engineers has been a hallmark of Jim Pline's 42-year career in traffic and transportation engineering thirty five of which were with the Idaho Department of Transportation. In each of the principal organizations that Jim has chosen to serve he has served with distinction and in each case for literally decades.
Since joining ITE in 1960, Jim Pline’s volunteer activities have spanned the entire spectrum of ITE. He is a charter member of the ITE Intermountain Chapter, and served as the Chapter President in 1967. He helped promote and organize the ITE Intermountain Section, and served as the first Section President in 1974. Recognizing Jim as a role model for ITE members, the Section annually presents the James L. Pline Distinguished Service Award — with Jim being the first recipient in 1984. Active in a number of ITE District 6 activities, he was elected to represent the District on the ITE International Board of Direction from 1976 to 1978. He was the recipient of District 6’s Wayne T. Van Waggoner Award.
A member of numerous ITE technical committees, Jim served on the ITE Technical Council from 1980 to 1987, first as chairperson of the Department on Standards, then as Council Vice Chairperson, and finally as Chairperson of the ITE Technical Council from 1985 to 1987. He has received the Technical Council Chairperson’s and Paper Awards
Recognizing his service to ITE over the years, the ITE membership elected Jim Pline as its International President in 1989. And in 1993 ITE awarded Jim the Burton W. Marsh Award for Distinguished Service, the ITE’s highest recognition of service over a number of years to advance ITE. But his contributions do not stop there.
Since serving as ITE International President, Jim has been as active as ever. He helped initiate the ITE Transportation Safety Council, and served as its first Chairperson and helped to organize the Forensics and Risk Management Council. He has received the ITE Safety Council’s Edmund Ricker Safety Award and the Forensics and Risk Management Council’s Outstanding Council Project Award. He was chief editor of the fourth edition of the ITE Traffic Engineering Handbook, published in 1991 and currently is serving as the editor of the fifth edition of the Traffic Engineering Handbook. For more than ten years he has helped to define and advance a program for certifying traffic engineers. These efforts have recently culminated in the establishment of a separated corporation (Transportation Professional Certification Board, Inc.) affiliated with ITE and funded by a loan from ITE. Jim serves on the newly appointed Board of this corporation which is scheduled to administer its first examination in January 1999 for Traffic Operations Engineering Professionals. And he continues to make his services available on a number of ITE technical and administrative committees.
Jim has also been active in a number of other organizations. For example, Jim has served as a National Director of the National Society of Professional Engineers and as the President of the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers and received the Idaho Outstanding Engineer Award. He has served as a member of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and its predecessor committees for more than 25 years, and for ten of those years as the National Committee’s Vice Chair for Research. He has served on the Idaho Traffic Safety Commission for more than 25 years. The Transportation Research Board’s Group 3 Council (Operation, Safety, and Maintenance of Transportation Facilities) has benefited from Jim’s active participation, as have numerous National Cooperative Highway Research Program panels.
Jim has been able to do all this while pursuing a successful career that includes 35 years with the Idaho Transportation Department, ten years as a traffic engineering consultant and expert witness, and service in the United States Air Force retiring as a Lt. Colonel.
Jim’s hallmark in his career and volunteer activities is that he gets the job done on time and gets it done well. Jim is a role model for the consummate transportation professional. With his election to Honorary membership he joins a list of individuals who have and some that continue to shape our profession. Jim’s wife Beverly has been a most supporting partner helping to make Jim’s accomplishments possible.