Directions in Highway Safety: May/June 2023 Issue

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The latest traffic safety news from GHSA.

Quick Links: Cover Story | 2023 Annual Meeting | Safety Roundup | Federal News | Member Spotlight

We’re losing too many of our family members, friends and neighbors to traffic crashes – nearly 43,000 last year alone. We sorely need a national awakening that changes the traffic safety culture in the United States, so everyone on the road puts safety first. GHSA is thrilled to support the Go Safely Movement, launched by the California Office of Traffic Safety and Caltrans, and looks forward to seeing it spread across the country. Visit the Go Safely website for information about how you can get involved.

GHSA is extremely disappointed that Ann Carlson withdrew herself from consideration as the White House nominee to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). With traffic fatalities remaining at historic highs, NHTSA has not had a confirmed Administrator for most of the last six and a half years. Carlson has proven herself as a national safety leader during her time at the agency and has been actively engaged with State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) and survivor-advocates across the country. We urge the administration to swiftly nominate, and the Senate to quickly confirm, an individual with a strong safety background to helm NHTSA at this critical time for roadway safety.

NHTSA recently announced several proposals designed to make motor vehicles safer for pedestrians. The agency proposed updates to the New Car Assessment Program that creates new pedestrian crashworthiness tests to measure how well vehicles protect people outside the vehicle. Public comments about the proposal will be accepted through July 25 and there is more information in the NHTSA press release. NHTSA also announced a proposed rule to require automatic emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian AEB systems on passenger cars and light trucks. GHSA’s preliminary report analyzing 2022 pedestrian fatalities found drivers struck and killed 3,434 people walking in the first half of last year, up 5% from 2021. An early look at the full-year 2022 data shows the numbers are getting even worse. Stay tuned for our full report with a comprehensive data analysis.

The GHSA team has been traveling to support our SHSO members, connect with long-time and new partners, and raise awareness of strategies and countermeasures to address the U.S. traffic safety crisis. Last month, CEO Jonathan Adkins spoke at the North Dakota Vision Zero Partner Conference and visited West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program Director Bob Tipton and his team. GHSA Director of Communications Adam Snider attended the inaugural Missouri Equity and Engagement in Traffic Safety Summit in Jefferson City, hosted by the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is highlighted in a State Highway Safety Showcase on our website.

2023 Annual Meeting

The GHSA 2023 Annual Meeting is just two months away! The agenda is jam-packed with content designed to help you advance your lifesaving work. We’ve finalized a slate of 17 workshops that will provide you opportunities to take a deep dive into an array of traffic safety topics. The General Session lineup now includes April Rai, President and CEO of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, who will speak about engaging more diverse communities and stakeholders in the traffic safety dialogue. In addition, Amy Cohen, Co-Founder, Families for Safe Streets; and Jaime Sullivan, P.E., Director, National Center for Rural Road Safety, will join a town hall discussion on keeping people outside of vehicles safe.

April Rai  Amy Cohen  Jaime Sullivan

With the Annual Meeting taking place in the heart of Times Square, this year’s Sunday Welcome Reception will be a celebration of Broadway. Come hear the musical stylings of our featured entertainer, Kyle Taylor Parker, known for his starring role as Lola in the smash hit Kinky Boots. Kyle and his band will perform popular songs from Broadway musicals with his signature Soul/R&B influence. Attendees can purchase guest tickets to the Sunday night Welcome Reception and the Tuesday evening Taste of the State Reception. Details will be provided after you register for the Annual Meeting.

Safety Roundup

  • A new report from the Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program, Identifying and Prioritizing Behavioral Interventions to Improve Child Passenger Safety in For-Hire Vehicles, examines the state of child passenger safety requirements in ride-hailing vehicles and taxis, and identifies opportunities for improved safety. Read the report online.
  • GHSA opened registration for its 2023 Executive Seminar for Program Management. More information about this training program exclusively for SHSOs, including instructions for registration, is available on GHSA’s members-only website (log-in required).
  • The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life hands-on novice driver training tour held successful events in Orlando in April, Kansas City in May and Detroit in June. Upcoming events will be taking place in Louisville (June 17-18) and Chicago (July 22-23). The program prides itself on offering free advanced teen driver training for families who could not otherwise afford it. SHSOs are instrumental in drawing attendees and bringing partners to the events. Ford Motor Company Fund will be at the GHSA Annual Meeting briefing states on the program and speaking on a workshop on August 15. This is a great opportunity for state members interested in hosting an event to connect with Ford Fund representatives.
  • GHSA partner Uber announced several new ride-hailing services, including teen accounts that offer caregivers live trip tracking and other safety features. Other new features include vehicles with Nuna car seats to allow parents to travel safely with their children and a phone service that lets people without smartphones hail or reserve a ride without having to navigate the app. Learn more in Uber’s blog post.
  • Seven states are wrapping up their distracted driving programs funded by General Motors and GHSA. We’d like to thank each SHSO and their partners for their hard work in helping raise awareness among teens of the dangers of distracted driving and fostering discussions to advance the safety of all road users.
  • The Rochester Police Department, in partnership with the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, is working with youth in low-income communities through an activity mobility grant from the National Road Safety Foundation and GHSA. They’ve been hosting bike safety rodeos that give youngsters a chance to learn critical bike skills in a safe, fun environment. For Bike to School Day on May 3, one lucky participant was chosen to receive a brand new bike and helmet!
  • June is Airbag Recall Repair Month. Help spread the word about the dangers of recalled airbags and how easy it is for customers to check if their airbag – or other auto parts – are subject to a recall. Check to Protect offers social media graphics, suggested post language and more resources on its Social Press Kit website.
  • Recent webinar recordings available: FCCLA-GHSA youth listening session where teens from across the country shared their traffic safety concerns and ideas to improve roadway safety; a look at a new report from the Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program on older driver safety; and an examination of the prevalence of counterfeit auto parts and what consumers can do.

Federal News

  • GHSA joined a large group of highway safety Allies in Action to participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) National Roadway Safety Strategy Call to Action Workshop. During the workshop, held at U.S. DOT headquarters, participants discussed various commitments to highway safety and needs for the future.
  • NHTSA is collecting public comments through July 3 on the current program states use to electronically transfer crash report data to the agency’s national crash database.
  • The U.S. DOT is accepting applications through July 10 for the second year of funding under the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program.

Member Spotlight

Tim Hogan with SaferStreet Solutions shares how his organization is working with communities to use driver feedback signs to help reduce distracted driving and speeding and increase seat belt use. Research confirms this is a proven countermeasure for addressing speeding and holds promise for addressing other risky driving behaviors as well. Visit Tim in the Exhibit Hall at the GHSA 2023 Annual Meeting in New York City!

Watch all Member Spotlights

Together for Safer RoadsThis edition of Directions is Highway Safety is brought to you by Together for Safer Roads. Together for Safer Roads is a global nonprofit bringing together purpose-driven companies, government and community stakeholders to create safer roads and form partnerships to achieve Vision Zero. They leverage member companies’ collective private sector insights to advance best practices for companies and their fleets. Together for Safer Roads addresses strategic road safety challenges in select locations by working with local government and stakeholders, and they advance innovative solutions to accelerate the growth and social impact of road safety tech.


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Directions in Highway Safety is published bimonthly by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

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