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GHSA News Release

September 18, 2007

Contact: Jonathan Adkins
(202)669-9746 (cell)

National Highway Safety Experts to Discuss Global Road Safety

United States has much to learn and share

PORTLAND, Ore.—Nationally and internationally known highway safety experts will convene September 23-26 in Portland, Oregon for the Governors Highway Safety Association's (GHSA) Annual Meeting. This year's meeting, themed Looking Beyond Our Borders, will focus on strategies and programs implemented in other nations that have been particularly effective at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities and that could be implemented in this country.

The international focus of the conference is particularly timely given that the United States' standing in global road safety has been slipping. While the U.S. has made much progress, overall the news is not good—the country now ranks 42nd among the 48 countries measured by fatalities per capita according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and the International Transport Forum. In what is considered by many experts to be a more precise measure, fatalities per distance driven, the U.S. was number one in 1970, with the lowest death rate among industrialized countries. However, the U.S. now ranks 11th.

Monday's keynote address will be delivered by the Honorable Nicole Nason, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Ms. Nason was appointed as the nation's top highway safety official by President Bush in 2006. She has been asked to discuss her thoughts and perspective on what the U.S. can both learn and offer to other developed countries. She's also expected to discuss how NHTSA can help facilitate this important information and idea exchange.

Tuesday's general session features two prominent experts from countries known for their excellence in highway safety. Fred Wegman is the managing director for a key road safety research organization in The Netherlands and Ian Johnston is a professor at the Monash University Accident Research Center in Australia. Wegman and Johnston are expected to share what their respective nations have done to establish themselves as global leaders on a variety of highway safety challenges. These include speeding, drunk driving, safety belt use as well as engineering solutions that result in safer roadways. Wednesday's closing luncheon will feature Brian Jonah, Director of Road Safety Programs with Transport Canada, who will discuss Canada's successful seat belt and drunk driving programs.

The GHSA meeting will also feature a variety of workshops that focus on current highway and emerging highway safety issues. Workshop topics include:

For a list of Annual Meeting Partners, please click here.

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A conference program is available online at News media representatives may call GHSA Communications Director Jonathan Adkins at (202)789-0942 or onsite in Portland at (202)669-9746.

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