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Summer 2007 | Vol. 10 | No. 2
GHSA to Highlight Global Road Safety in Portland
International highway safety will be the focus at GHSA's Annual Meeting September 23-26 in Portland, Oregon. The conference, titled "Looking Beyond Our Borders," features a variety of nationally- and internationally-known speakers who will detail what the United States can learn from other countries.
While the nation has made much progress in highway safety, the United States now ranks 42nd among the 48 countries measured by fatalities per capita, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Transport Forum. Australia, Britain, France, Germany and Japan all did significantly better. In what many consider a more precise measure, fatalities per distance driven, the United States was number one in 1970, with the lowest death rate among industrialized countries reporting data. It now ranks 11th, a significant decline that has concerned many in the highway safety community.
To help kick off the conference, NHTSA Administrator Nicole Nason will speak on Monday, along with top Oregon officials. Nason has been asked to present her assessment of where the U.S. stands currently and what she thinks we can learn from other nations. Nason was appointed to her current position in 2006 by President Bush and has forged a strong relationship with GHSA and its members.
On Tuesday, meeting attendees will hear from two prominent experts: Fred Wegman, Managing Director of the SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research in the Netherlands; and Ian Johnston, Professor at of the Monash University Accident Research Centre in Australia. Wegman's areas of expertise include developing road safety strategies and implementation programs, evaluation studies on road safety and developing road safety research programs. He regularly advises the Dutch Parliament and government, the European Commission and many other countries on road safety issues. Dr. Johnston has advised regional and national governments in several countries on road safety strategy and policy and has a keen interest in technology transfer within the Asia-Pacific region.
Wednesday's closing luncheon features Brian Jonah, Director of Road Safety Programs with Transport Canada. He is responsible for collision data collection and analysis, including collision investigations, road user and road infrastructure research and the development of road safety-related policy and programs.
In addition to the general sessions, 15 workshops are scheduled, highlighting both traditional and emerging highway safety issues. Evening social events will allow for informal networking and visiting with new and old friends.
More information about the 2007 GHSA Annual Meeting is online at www.ghsa.org.