FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2013
Contact: Jonathan Adkins, 202-669-9746 (cell)
or Chris Cochran, 916-208-8409 (cell)
State, National Highway Safety Experts Convene in San Diego
Technology's Pros & Cons in the Spotlight
WASHINGTON, D.C. & SAN DIEGO, Calif.—A record number of the nation's top highway safety and law enforcement officials will gather next week in San Diego as the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the California Office of Traffic Safety host the 2013 GHSA Annual Meeting.
Highway Safety & Technology: Safely Navigating the Road Ahead is the theme of the meeting, which takes place August 26-28 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. General and breakout sessions will focus on how technology is both a help and hindrance to highway safety officials, who are working to prevent crashes on the nation's roadways. Last year, an estimated 34,080 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S., a 5.3 percent increase over the previous year and the first year-to-year-increase since 2005.
While safety and law enforcement officials are leveraging in-vehicle monitoring, automated enforcement, real-time data analysis and other tools to address unsafe behaviors on the road, the driving public remains steadfast in their unwillingness to put down their phones, despite recognizing the risks. Federal safety officials estimate that at any given time during daylight hours, more than 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.
The issue will be center stage during Monday's keynote session, featuring David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Ron Medford, Director of Safety for Google's self-driving car program.
Tuesday morning's general session line-up includes Deborah A.P. Hersman, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board; Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy; and Jeremy Anwyl, former Vice Chairman of Edmunds.com.
Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR), will headline Wednesday's closing luncheon. Widely recognized for her reports on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine, All Things Considered, and Morning Edition, Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics from both inside and outside the Washington, D.C. beltway.
The meeting will also feature an array of workshops covering the full spectrum of highway safety topics including impaired, distracted and teen driving; pedestrian, occupant and motorcycle safety; traffic enforcement; and more.
A detailed meeting agenda is available online. News media representatives may call GHSA Jonathan Adkins on site in San Diego at 202-669-9746 for press credentials. General session and workshop speakers will be available for interviews following their sessions.
The meeting is supported by a number of companies and organizations, including The Allstate Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund/Ford Driving Skills for Life, and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. A complete list of meeting sponsors is available online.
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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.