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GHSA News Release

July 20, 2012

Contact: Jonathan Adkins
(202)789-0942 x130
(202)669-9746 (cell)

GHSA Reacts to Early Estimates of Traffic Deaths for 2012

The following statement is attributable to Barbara Harsha, Executive Director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released an early estimate of traffic deaths for the first quarter of 2012. The agency estimates that deaths increased 13.5 percent during that period. We are disappointed in the news but not particularly surprised.

As NHTSA notes, unprecedented gains have been made since 2006 in reducing traffic deaths. So, from that low baseline, an increase is not unexpected.  While it is too early to draw conclusions about the data and the reasons for the increase, the strengthening economy and the warm winter may be factors.

Any increase in traffic deaths is unacceptable and we remain absolutely committed to working with our partners at NHTSA and across the country to keep the roadways safe. Fortunately, the recently enacted highway bill gives states the resources to fund proven programs that save lives.  As the news from NHTSA reminds us, these programs remain critically important.

To download the Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Quarter (January–March) of 2012, visit

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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, enhance program management and promote best practices. 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 Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at @GHSAHQ.