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GHSA News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2010

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

Congress Needs to Extend Highway Programs

State Drunk Driving, Seat Belt, Distracted Driving Efforts Impacted

Statement for Attribution to Barbara Harsha, Executive Director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) urges Congress to quickly extend the Highway Trust Fund authorization that expired February 28. As a result of the failure to extend, federal behavioral highway safety programs, along with federal highway and motor carrier safety programs are significantly affected. For GHSA members, who administer programs addressing driver behavior issues such as drunk driving, seat belt enforcement, speeding and distracted driving, the lack of either a short- or long-term authorization means state reimbursements are not being processed, and it is impossible for states to execute strategic programs. Additionally, numerous staff at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including those in the NHTSA regional offices who work closely with GHSA members, are furloughed.

The most recent long-term highway funding authorization expired September 30, 2009. Since then, states have been operating under a series of short-term authorizations. In addition to immediately remedying this current funding crisis, Congress needs to pass a long-term authorization so state agencies are not continually operating with such tremendous uncertainty.

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GHSA's reauthorization policy position, Toward Zero Deaths: Every Life Counts: A 10-Point Plan for Reauthorizing the Federal Highway Safety Program, is posted online at www.ghsa.org/html/TZD/index.html.

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 www.ghsa.org.