The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, media, government agencies, universities, or programs. The achievement must have been successfully accomplished during the prior calendar year.
About Peter K. O'Rourke (1943 - 1996)
Peter K. O'Rourke, past GHSA chairman and highway safety leader, began his career as a California highway patrolman, where he witnessed the devastating consequences of vehicle crashes first-hand. He served to make highways safer through many roles. He was director of the California Office for Traffic Safety under two governors and was instrumental in the passage of several important pieces of safety legislation. The national respect gained from his commitment to highway safety led O'Rourke to be elected chairman of GHSA by his peers. After leaving state government, he served as vice president of The Century Council, where he worked on prevention of underage drinking and drunk driving.
Education and enforcement are at the core of nearly all successful traffic safety programs.
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.
Traffic-related incidents are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers each year.
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.