James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award

James J. 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.

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.

Past Winners

Watch for Me NC

Education and enforcement are at the core of nearly all successful traffic safety programs.


Teen Driver Impact Program

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds, and teens are more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal crash. That is why it is critical to identify and recognize programs that help teens make better decisions behind the wheel.


Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office

Traffic-related incidents are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers each year.


Texas Municipal Traffic Safety Initiatives

Texas Municipal Traffic Safety Initiatives (MTSI) was established in 2008 to strengthen the ability of municipal courts to combat impaired driving.


North Carolina Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking

In 2013, underage drinking cost the citizens of North Carolina $1.3 billion for medical care, work loss, and pain and suffering associated with the use of alcohol by youth.


New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee

As the problem of drugged driving continues to grow, law enforcement officers need tools to help them evaluate impaired motorists, as well as data to help them better understand where to focus enforcement efforts.


Connecticut DOT

A May 2012 assessment of Connecticut's Crash Data Improvement Program (CDIP) was the impetus that spurred the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CTDOT) Crash Data and Analysis and Highway Safety Offices, together with the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Engineering, to collab


Walk Smart

Ocean City, Maryland, is a small island community where the population swells from nearly 7,100 off-season residents to 400,000 people each week in the summer. The beach community hosts more than 8 million visitors each year.


VA Traffic Records

Tracking and managing an ignition interlock program can be a challenge for many states.


Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe

B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides free advanced driver’s education through its Teen Pro-Active Driving Course program.


CHP Education Program

On less than 1 percent of the total farmland in the United States, California’s Central Valley produces 8 percent of the nation's agricultural output by value. During harvest season, more than one-half million farm workers are employed in the region.


ADEPT Driver

There are numerous programs focused on making teens safer drivers, but one in particular has caught the eye of insurers in 49 states.


Tim Hollister

Tim Hollister of Hartford, Connecticut, is a parent, author and advocate. He has taken an unthinkable personal tragedy and channeled it into an unrelenting drive to save other parents from the same fate.


Parent's Supervised Driving Program

The data is clear: new teen drivers are at risk as soon as they get behind the wheel, and the less experience they receive, the more that risk increases. Parental engagement in teen driver education is a key solution to this societal problem.


John S. Kennedy

Each year, one out of every three traffic related fatalities in Pennsylvania is due to impaired driving.