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GHSA News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2010

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

National Highway Safety Award Winners Honored in Kansas City

WASHINGTON, D.C. & KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Today, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) presented its highway safety awards during the GHSA Annual Meeting in Kansas City. GHSA represents state highway safety agencies across the country.

GHSA’s most prestigious award, the James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award, goes to Chuck Hurley. During his more than 30-year career, Hurley has become one of the most recognized highway safety advocates in the country, pushing for more comprehensive safety legislation on a myriad of highway safety issues. Hurley was a leader in the development and implementation of the Click It or Ticket campaign, the effort to increase the drinking age to 21, and most recently, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

GHSA presented the Kathryn J.R. Swanson Public Service Award to the Delaware Highway Safety Office former director Tricia Roberts, whose creative ways to reach the public paired with her determination to see effective legislation enacted and her dedication to connect to other highway safety organizations merit this recognition. A tireless advocate, Roberts embodies the same spirit of commitment to highway safety as exemplified by Kathy Swanson, former Director of Minnesota's Office of Traffic Safety and GHSA Chairman.

GHSA also presented four Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards for notable achievements in highway safety in 2009. These Awards are named in honor of former GHSA Chairman and Californian Peter K. O'Rourke. Winners are:

The Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition, a team of 27 safety advocates, established to develop and implement Motorcycle Strategic Safety Plan (MSSP) in response to the significant increase in Florida’s motorcycle crashes, fatalities and injuries. The Motorcycle Safety Coalition has finalized the MSSP, conducting mapping and trend analyses, produced a motorcycle traffic law enforcement video, created and implemented Florida’s first motorcycle impaired riding campaign, and hosted training and safety forums. These and other activities have led to a potential 24% reduction in motorcycle fatalities and a 9% reduction in serious injuries, despite little fluctuation in ridership numbers, no state universal helmet law, and the fact that motorcycle riding is a year-round activity in Florida.

Crawford County S.A.F.E. (Seat Belts Are for Everyone), a teen seat belt program that capitalizes on teen buying power by using a combination of positive and negative rewards to change behavior. Crawford County Kansas piloted the program during the 2008-2009 school year, building a coalition of support in the community. This youth-led program included student administered seat belt use surveys, pledge cards, and monthly drawings for $25 Visa cards. The outcomes of the Crawford County S.A.F.E. program speak for themselves. A 16.3 percent increase in the teen student seatbelt rate in one of Kansas’ most seat belt-resistant counties meant an additional 306 students were traveling safer each day. The program’s success has spurred interest among other Kansas counties and other states.

DCH Auto Group, the largest auto group in New Jersey and one of the largest in the nation, which made a substantial commitment to promote teen safe driving through active involvement in local high schools and communities. In spite of the most significant budget crisis in their industry in decades, DCH supported the creation of SADD chapters in local high schools within each of the communities served by their dealerships, as well as travel for students and advisors to attend SADD national conference and set up regional training conferences on the east and west coasts. To date, DCH has sponsored 27 SADD chapters in high schools in its service areas. These chapters range in size from 30 students to 150 students. DCH/SADD chapter activities have reached 30,000 students as well as hundreds of parents and family members and thousands of additional community members.

Zero Fatalities, a coalition of Utah highway safety partners working to prevent traffic injuries and fatalities, whose groundbreaking Texting While Driving (TWD) video has fueled the distracted driving discussion on a national scale. Zero Fatalities worked with a prison inmate convicted of negligent homicide because of TWD to produce a 15-minute documentary educating drivers about the dangers of TWD. The video was widely distributed among Utah driving instructors, schools, and online social networks. Demand for the video has been tremendous, and it has received national press coverage. Zero Fatalities’ TWD video has provided Utah and the nation with a highly effective way to communicate about the inherent danger in TWD.

More detailed descriptions about the winners are online at www.ghsa.org/html/meetings/awards/10.index.html. To request a photo of a winner from the Sept. 27 presentation ceremony, contact Kara Macek at kmacek@ghsa.org or 202-789-0942, ext. 14.

An agenda of the GHSA Annual Meeting is available online at: www.ghsa.org/html/meetings/annual/2010/agenda.html.

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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 www.ghsa.org.