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GHSA News Release

March 3, 2009

Contact: Barbara Harsha or Jonathan Adkins
(202)789-0942, ext. 12 or 13
(202)669-9746, cell

State Highway Safety Group Calls for Paradigm Shift in Safety Discussion

Presents 10-Point Plan for Congressional Action

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) today called on Congress to enhance and alter the federal highway safety program as it begins work on the highway bill reauthorization. GHSA also announced its support of an ambitious new highway safety goal—Toward Zero Deaths: Every Life Counts—as a means for reinforcing the fact that highway deaths are preventable and tragically unnecessary.

The current highway authorization is set to expire at the end of September. Congress is expected to begin work on reauthorizing the nearly $300 billion program soon. GHSA members currently receive approximately $600 million annually in highway safety grant funding to address behavioral safety issues such as drunk driving, inadequate occupant protection, speeding and data improvement.

According to GHSA Chairman Vernon F. Betkey Jr., “Our proposal pdf icon [1.3 MB, 17 pgs.] centers on a new and ambitious goal of Toward Zero Deaths. We know that highway deaths are preventable, and with an increase of attention and funding, the more than 40,000 families who lose loved ones each year in crashes can be spared this emotional and financial hardship. We are urging policy-makers to support funding for increased enforcement, new technologies and better tools for data collection to launch a new era in highway safety. GHSA urges Congress to emphasize performance-based planning, increase funding for better data and streamline the programs. We know what needs to be done and we ask Congress to give us the tools to achieve this ambitious goal.”

GHSA specifically calls on Congress to:

Download Toward Zero Deaths: Every Life Counts, A 10-Point Plan for Reauthorizing the Federal Highway Safety Program pdf icon [1.28 MB, 17 pgs.]

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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