James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award

Howard Award

The James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award is GHSA's highest award. The award honors an individual for sustained, outstanding leadership in endeavors that significantly improve highway safety. The recipient of this award must have undertaken a concerted, long-term effort to make our nation’s highways safer and made a significant contribution to the field of highway safety. The recipient must have established and implemented programs or been responsible for notable advancements in technology or research throughout the years that yielded a demonstrated national safety impact.

Nominations for the 2019 Howard Award closed April 12, 2019. The award will be presented on Tuesday, August 27 at the GHSA 2019 Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California.

About James J. Howard (1927 - 1988)

James J. Howard

The career of Representative James J. Howard (D-NJ) was distinguished by his steadfast commitment to highway safety issues. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1964, Howard—who came to be known as "Mr. Highway Safety"—was named chair of the Public Works and Transportation Committee in 1980. Howard previously had chaired the Public Works Energy Subcommittee where, in 1974, he introduced the idea of a 55-mile-per hour speed limit. In addition, Howard authored an innovative coordinated surface transportation policy and program.

Howard's other notable, enduring contributions to the fight for enhanced highway safety include sponsorship of a myriad of bills, including:

  • The Howard-Barnes anti-drunk driving legislation (1982);
  • The Child Restraint Law (1984), which increased funding for state child passenger safety programs;
  • Legislation establishing a uniform minimum drinking age of 21 (1984);
  • The National Driver's Register (1982); and
  • The Motor Carrier Act (1980), which was the first regulatory reform of the trucking industry in half a century that, among other things, increased federal aid for truck safety programs.