FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2012
Contact: Barbara Harsha
(202) 789-0942, x120
Surface Transportation Extension Praised by State Safety Leaders
Funding Essential to Reduce Drunk, Distracted and Unbelted Drivers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) praised Congress today for passage of the surface transportation extension known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century or MAP-21. The new law extends transportation funding for a host of programs until September of 2014. These include behavioral highway safety programs addressing issues such as drunk driving, distracted driving and occupant protection which are administered by GHSA members.
Barbara Harsha, the Association’s Executive Director said, “We are delighted with this new legislation and commend Congress, particularly the leadership in both houses, the authorizing committees, and Conference Chairman Senator Boxer (D-CA) for getting it done. States can now plan their programs for the next two years with greater certainty about federal funding.” Harsha also noted that Congressional staff of the Senate Commerce, Senate Environment and Public Works and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees deserve much praise for working many nights to address challenging issues.
Harsha said GHSA finds many aspects of the bill appealing including:
- A slight increase in funding for highway safety programs.
- A new combined incentive program that rewards states for high performance in multiple areas such as occupant protection, impaired driving, distracted driving and teen driving.
- Acknowledgement of the performance measures developed jointly by GHSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and currently used by all states.
- A combined application process for federal grants reducing the administrative burden on states.
- A new behavioral research program managed jointly by NHTSA and GHSA.
- Maintenance of current federal oversight which keeps states accountable but allows them to direct funding to areas which are most critical.
Harsha concluded noting, “Lives will be saved because Congress has provided tools for states to continue effective highway safety programs.”
# # #
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.