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GHSA News Release

October 2, 2006

Contact: Jonathan Adkins, (202)789-0942

Meharry-State Farm Alliance Honored by the Governors Highway Safety Association

Alliance receives award for its work to improve highway safety, encourage seat belt use and reduce injuries and deaths among African-American motorists

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has presented the Meharry-State Farm Alliance with the Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award in recognition of the Alliance's work to improve roadway safety, encourage seat belt use and reduce the number of injuries and deaths among African-American motorists. Nominated for the award by the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office, the Meharry-State Farm Alliance received this recognition at the GHSA's Annual meeting in Oklahoma City.

"We are delighted to have been presented with this special award," said Irwin Goldzweig of the Meharry-State Farm Alliance. "Seat belt use is a vital part of keeping our roadways safe. Understanding patterns of seatbelt use, providing government officials and community leaders with useful data, and creating tailored programs to encourage greater seat belt use is the hallmark of the Meharry-State Farm Alliance. We thank the GHSA for this great recognition."

The annual special achievement award is named for Peter K. O'Rourke, a past GHSA chairman and leader in highway safety. O'Rourke was director of the California Office of Traffic Safety under two governors and was instrumental in the passage of several important pieces of safety legislation. After leaving state government, he served as vice president of The Century Council, where he worked to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving.

The Meharry-State Farm Alliance was established in 2002 to promote seat belt use among African Americans and reduce fatalities, injuries, and economic costs associated with motor vehicle crashes. As part of its efforts, the Alliance has partnered with national, state and local governments and organizations as well as academic institutions and community leaders to raise awareness of racial disparities in seat belt use, pass primary enforcement seat belt legislation in several states, and create community-focused education and public awareness campaigns to encourage seat belt use.

The Meharry-State Farm Alliance's work is centered in four primary areas: public policy, national leadership, education, and research. Key Alliance accomplishments for 2005 include:

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About the Governors Highway Safety Association

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)® is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit

About the Meharry-State Farm Alliance

The Meharry-State Farm Alliance is a joint venture of Meharry Medical College, a historically black academic health center in Nashville, Tenn., and State Farm, which insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 69,000 employees serve nearly 73 million auto, fire and health policies in the United States and Canada.