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News Release

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Toward Zero Deaths: Every Life Counts

A 10-Point Plan for Reauthorizing the Federal Highway Safety Program

The Governors Highway Safety Associationís (GHSA) reauthorization position was developed through a survey of the GHSA membership.

Specifically, GHSA urges Congress to:

  1. Maintain a Strong Federal Role in Highway Safety—The United States was once a leader in highway safety but has now fallen to tenth in the world, according to the World Health Organization. To regain our leadership position, the federal government must provide strong leadership in addressing the problem of traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries.
  2. Develop a National Strategic Highway Safety Plan—To regain the United State’s role as a leader in highway safety, a national plan of action needs to be developed in coordination with state and local efforts. States already have strategic highway safety plans, and these successful efforts should be duplicated on the national level.
  3. Emphasize performance-based planning—States should be encouraged to use a minimum, standard set of performance measures in their planning processes and fund further efforts to identify and implement additional performance measures for the future.
  4. Enhance funding for data improvements—Funding for the section 408 data program should be increased to $100 million a year so the program can become the engine for state highway safety data improvements.
  5. Streamline grant program administration—Currently, GHSA members administer ten different grant programs with varying deadlines and funding streams. Too much time is spent on program administration taking away from critical implementation of highway safety programs.
  6. Enhance flexibility—States should be able to flex a portion of their behavioral funding between grant programs and should be able to pool their funding together. This will allow states to match their funding with what their data dictates.
  7. Enhance flexibility—States should be able to flex a portion of their behavioral funding between grant programs and should be able to pool their funding together. This will allow states to match their funding with what their data dictates.
  8. Strengthen state programs through accountability, training and research—Existing accountability requirements should be continued, and new training and research opportunities should be supported.
  9. Strengthen state Strategic Highway Safety Plan requirements—States should be required to regularly update their plans, there should be more flexibility in funding, and these plans should be easily accessible to the public.
  10. Oppose new sanctions but maintain the 21-drinking age law—In general, GHSA opposes new sanctions on states that do not enact certain laws. GHSA believes that incentives are a more appropriate method to encourage state action.  GHSA will, however, strongly oppose any effort to repeal the 21-drinking law. This law has been tremendously successful and repeal would be a giant step backward for highway safety.