FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2013
Contact: Jonathan Adkins
National Highway Safety Awards Presented in San Diego
Hedlund, Texas’ Pence and Five State Programs Honored
SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Today, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) presented its 2013 highway safety awards to two individuals, who collectively have dedicated nearly seventy years to addressing behavioral safety issues, and five programs focusing on the nation’s most pressing roadway safety problems at its Annual Meeting in San Diego. An awards luncheon was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation (www.allstatefoundation.org).
GHSA presented its most prestigious honor, the James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award, to Dr. James “Jim” Hedlund, whose efforts to address impaired driving, occupant protection and many other behavioral safety issues, along with data collection and analysis, have helped save countless lives across the country. Hedlund held key leadership positions with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 22 years before embarking on a second career as a safety consultant in the late 1990s. In that capacity, he has published more than 80 influential papers and reports on various traffic safety topics. Dr. Hedlund is currently helping the Transportation Research Board to coordinate the nation’s most extensive naturalistic driving study, which is expected to yield significant findings.
The Kathryn J.R. Swanson Public Service Award was presented to Terry Pence, Traffic Safety Section Director for the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Traffic Operations Division. Pence, the first sitting state highway safety office director to receive the award, was recognized for his leadership in helping to drive Texas’ fatality rate to a historic low and for his service to GHSA. Pence has spent his entire career at TxDOT and is lauded for selflessly assisting, mentoring and inspiring others in Texas and across the country.
GHSA also presented five Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Awards for outstanding highway safety accomplishments during the previous calendar year to the following programs:
- Florida Department of Transportation Bicycle/Pedestrian Focused Initiative, the first statewide, data-driven program that targeted enforcement and educational resources to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in 10 priority counties. The Alert Today Alive Tomorrow campaign -- which featured a one-stop website, public service announcements, a branded race car at the Daytona International Speedway, and Bulls Walk and Bike Week at the University of South Florida, one of the nation’s largest college campuses -- sparked six and 12 percent decreases, respectively, in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities statewide.
- Kentucky Drive Down Team, a collaborative effort between East Kentucky Broadcasting and local highway safety officials to improve safety in Pike County, leveraged grassroots outreach, good tickets and incentives, and nearly continuous radio coverage to educate motorists and their passengers about addressing unsafe driving behaviors. Fatalities on some of the state’s most dangerous roadways dropped 20 percent.
- Remembering Ally: Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign, a Michigan-based education program developed in memory of a 16-year-old high school student killed by a distracted driver, features a chillingly dramatized eight-minute video that has been seen in more than 90 countries, featured on former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s Facebook page, and shown at corporate and high school events nationwide. The program is prompting teens behind the wheel to stay focused on driving.
- Oregon DOT, Traffic Safety Division E-Crash/E-Citation Program, a best-in-class traffic analysis system that is helping law enforcement and traffic safety officials identify and take action to address crash hot spots and problem drivers in days rather than months. The system includes a data warehouse that immediately records, stores and shares both crash and citation information, enabling local and state law enforcement officials to work smarter.
- Utah “Don’t Drive Stupid” Parent Night Program, a component of the state’s Zero Fatalities initiative, provides a forum for educating parents about the crash risk for teens and the critical role they play in helping their teens survive their most dangerous driving years. Teen fatal crashes are down 17 percent, while parents understanding of Utah’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) law and, in particular, the nighttime driving and passenger restrictions (two key provisions shown to reduce teen crash risk) increased 200 and 81 percent, respectively, since Parent Nights were implemented.
More information about the award recipients can be found at www.ghsa.org/html/meetings/awards/2013/13index.html. To request a photo from the awards presentation, contact Jonathan Adkins at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 202-669-9746. The GHSA Annual Meeting schedule is available online.
# # #
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.