FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2012
Contact: Jonathan Adkins
Tennessean Kendell Poole Elected Chairman of GHSA
Announces Priorities at Annual Meeting
WASHINGTON, D.C. & BALTIMORE, MD—Kendell Poole, Director of the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office has been elected the new chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the national nonprofit organization representing the state and territorial highway safety offices across the country.
Mr. Poole’s priorities will be to assist states with implementation of the highway safety programs authorized under the new federal highway bill and to continue the organization’s national leadership on key highway safety issues, including drunk driving, occupant protection, distracted driving and speeding.
Implementation of New Federal Highway Safety Programs
The recently-enacted federal highway bill known as MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) provides states with needed resources to keep America’s roadways safe. Poole notes that, “The new law provides opportunities for states to qualify for additional federal funding by achieving certain performance goals or improving state laws. With so many new members in our Association, I want to make sure that GHSA continues to provide training and guidance to help every state highway safety office understand how to achieve their goals.”
Poole notes that the “Big 3” in highway safety continue to be drunk driving, occupant protection and speeding. He says, “Furthering progress in these three areas will have the most impact toward our goal of preventing roadway deaths and injuries.” GHSA will remain a leader in these areas by promoting proven-effective programs such as the national Click It or Ticket seat belt campaign and the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drunk driving crackdown. Because excessive speed continues to be factor in almost a third of all highway deaths, Poole explains, “GHSA will continue to focus attention on this challenging area of highway safety.”
Chairman Poole notes GHSA will focus on other key issues, including:
- Distracted Driving – GHSA urges states to pass and enforce statewide texting bans. Poole notes that the Association is encouraged by the results of distracted driving enforcement demonstration projects in Connecticut and New York and looks forward to the results from similar projects in California and Delaware.
- Motorcycle Safety – The Association has been a leader in this area, reporting on state trends. GHSA supports a comprehensive strategy of laws, training, licensing and education to address this vexing area of highway safety.
- Teen Driving – Earlier this year, GHSA reported that after years of progress, teen driving-related deaths were inching upward. As part of MAP-21, Congress is providing incentive money for states that strengthen their teen driving laws. GHSA supports this incentive as well as educational resources such as Ford Driving Skills for Life to complement state graduated licensing laws.
Prior to his election, Mr. Poole was a member of the Association’s Executive Board since 2006, first as a regional representative and most recently as Chairman of the Member Services Committee. He was appointed to his position in Tennessee in 2006 by Governor Phil Bredesen and continues to serve in the administration of Governor Bill Haslam.
Poole was elected as GHSA’s 2012 Annual Meeting kicks off in Baltimore. The meeting, Public Health + Highway Safety: Saving Lives Together, takes place August 27-29 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel. General sessions and breakout workshops will explore highway safety from the public health perspective, focusing on how to apply public health successes to the field of highway safety. It will also examine how highway safety professionals can collaborate with the public health community to make highway safety a top public health priority. More information is online at www.ghsa.org.
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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 www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter at @GHSAHQ.