Directions in Highway Safety: January/February 2024 Issue

Directions in Highway Safety
Resource Type
GHSA Publication

Quick Links: 2024 Annual Meeting | Safety Roundup | Federal News | Member Spotlight

Image of two feet standing on pavement with a yellow arrow pointing in two different directionsThe United States is at a critical juncture in traffic safety. Roadway deaths are finally beginning to fall following the pandemic-induced surge. While this is welcome news, we as a nation can’t sit back and expect the numbers to improve on their own. Dangerous driving behaviors – like speeding, impaired driving and not buckling up – continue to kill people on U.S. roads every day. A nationwide reduction in traffic enforcement means some drivers think they can drive however they please (potentially endangering others on the road) and not face any consequences. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) continues to push for a multilayered solution that includes equitable enforcement, community outreach, more and better-designed infrastructure, vehicle technology advancements and post-crash care, among other countermeasures.

Image of two men standing in front of a futuristic-looking driverless car

As we work toward the goal of zero traffic deaths, the GHSA team is focused on learning from traditional and non-traditional traffic safety organizations. To kick off the new year, GHSA hosted a town hall with our State and Territorial Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) to get their feedback on what we’re doing right and need to do differently. Later in the month, GHSA CEO Jonathan Adkins attended the Consumer Electronics Show, where he had discussions with a wide range of technology companies that are working to make our vehicles and roads safer.

It’s important that we continue to gather feedback and ideas from those who haven’t always been a part of the national traffic safety dialogue. Adkins was recently named to the Board of Youthcast Media Group, a nonprofit that provides high school and college students from underserved communities (the vast majority of whom are youth of color) the opportunity to spotlight health and social issues that often get overlooked, including traffic safety. This presents GHSA a great opportunity to listen and learn from youth, who offer a fresh perspective and aren’t content with the status quo.

Lifesavers Conference on Roadway Safety, April 7-9, 2024GHSA will be out in full force this April at the Lifesavers Conference on Roadway Safety in Denver. Adkins, Pam Shadel Fischer and Russ Martin will share data and recommendations on pedestrian safety, young drivers and traffic safety cameras in three different sessions. GHSA Chair Barbara Rooney will moderate a plenary luncheon to wrap up the conference. In addition, GHSA is partnering with Waymo and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute to offer a free training on automated vehicle (AV) technology for first responders the day before Lifesavers officially kicks off. One of the biggest benefits of Lifesavers is learning from others. We’re looking forward to hearing from non-traditional voices about innovative traffic safety ideas while in the Mile High City.

2024 Annual Meeting

Image of buildings in IndianapolisThe GHSA team is hard at work planning and preparing for the 2024 Annual Meeting, which will be held September 7-11 in the Crossroads of America: Indianapolis.

General sessions will provide actionable information, fresh ideas and inspiring perspectives to guide your work in roadway safety. GHSA is inviting senior government officials and industry leaders to provide an update at the Monday Opening General Session on the ongoing traffic safety crisis and innovative solutions. Workshops will dive deep into a slew of traffic safety topics, including vulnerable road users, teen driver safety, equity in traffic enforcement, community engagement and participation, communications, highway safety criminal justice, and more.

Image of five people dressed up standing on a stageNominations for GHSA’s 2024 Roadway Safety Awards are now open! Nominate an individual or organization for outstanding achievements in the field of traffic safety. The 2024 awards, sponsored by and the National Road Safety Foundation, will be presented at the Annual Meeting on September 10. Nominations must be submitted online no later than Friday, March 22. Learn more about the awards and submit a nomination on the GHSA website.

Thank you to the 35 organizations who have shown their support by sponsoring the Annual Meeting. Check out our site to see the current list of 2024 Roadway Safety Champions and learn how you can join this esteemed group. Exhibit Hall registration is open, but there are plenty of great spaces left – be sure to reserve your spot today. Attendee registration opens in mid-March. Bookmark our website and follow us on social media to stay up to date!


Safety Roundup

🟠 Leading the Way on Traffic Safety Data Innovation: GHSA has launched a new grant partnership with MICHELIN Mobility Intelligence (MMI) to provide $300,000 in credits to SHSOs to leverage MMI data products and services to uncover new insights, evaluate countermeasures and enrich traffic safety planning. Project outcomes will be highlighted at the GHSA 2024 Annual Meeting. Stay tuned for more information before then.

🟠 Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) Webinar: The Johns Hopkins University Traffic Law Enforcement Research Team will hold a webinar featuring four national experts discussing potential roles and education needs for LELs to better enhance the effectiveness of traffic enforcement. GHSA Vice Chair and Minnesota Office of Highway Safety Director Michael Hanson is among the speakers. Register for the February 28 webinar.

🟠 Walking and Using a Phone Is Bad for Your Health: A New York Times article explores how impactful cell phones are on our the human body and mind, with some obvious traffic safety implications: “That screen in your hand isn’t just diverting your attention. It also changes your mood, your gait and your posture — and hinders your ability to get from point A to point B without running into trouble.”

🟠 Capitol Hill Roadway Safety Advocacy Days: The National Safety Council, Road to Zero, Families for Safe Streets and Stop Distractions are organizing a three-day event May 13-15 for the safety community to advocate in Washington, D.C. Participants will promote urgency about our ongoing traffic safety crisis and raise awareness of existing and potential solutions. Register here to join.

🟠 Hoboken Celebrates Safety Milestone: The city of Hoboken, N.J. hasn’t had a traffic death in more than seven years. What’s the secret to zero? Embracing a comprehensive Vision Zero plan that includes roadway improvements such as multi-way stop signs, high-visibility crosswalks, 15 mph school zones and more. Read more in Patch.

🟠 Roadside Safety Recommendations: The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released new research focusing on fatally struck roadside assistance workers. The Foundation’s research documents common crash characteristics and offers recommendations for preventing these roadside crashes.

🟠 Green Means Go, Red Means No (Turning Right): A growing number of U.S. cities – including Atlanta, Denver, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C. and others – have proposed or passed laws banning right turns on red. Allowing drivers to turn right when the signal is red “introduce[s] extra movements into the intersection,” urban and regional planning professor Eric Dumbaugh told CNN. Pedestrian deaths reached a 40-year high of 7,500 in 2022, according to GHSA’s most recent data.

🟠 Save the Date for NASID: The National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving (NASID) will hold its third annual conference this November 18-20 in Washington, D.C. Registration opens in March. Topics of discussion are expected to include the National Roadway Safety Strategy and the Safe System approach, advanced technology to prevent impaired driving, public awareness campaigns, and standardization of chemical testing protocols, among others.

🟠 Why We Can’t Fall for Arguments Against Speed Cameras: Data from speed camera programs show they get drivers to slow down and reduce crashes, but this life-saving technology is still widely misunderstood. The Virginia Mercury outlines some of the most common statements against speed cameras and why they’re incorrect. Learn more about safety cameras in GHSA’s report, published with the support of State Farm®.

🟠 Teens Talk Traffic Safety and Risky Driver Behavior: The National Transportation Safety Board, alongside the In One Instant Teen Safe Driving Program, Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition, and FCCLA, hosted a session to amplify the voices of Hispanic youth in traffic safety. During this event, Hispanic youth from across the country discussed key road safety issues and evaluated current safety messaging. Watch a recording of the webinar.

🟠 High Number of Cannabis-Consuming Youth: A survey by the Colorado Department of Transportation found that drivers aged 18-24 consume cannabis more than twice as often as the average driver and were twice as likely to report driving while high. Learn more.

Federal News

🟠 State Electronic Data Transfer Funding: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a new Notice of Funding Opportunity for states to further develop crash reporting systems to facilitate easier data sharing. The deadline to apply is May 1.

🟠 Countermeasures That Work: NHTSA’s 11th edition of Countermeasures That Work is now available in an improved digital format that facilitates easier browsing and customizable organization.

🟠 As MMUCC Would Have It… NHTSA has released the new, 6th edition of the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC), which includes many updated and helpful recommendations on how police can more accurately and efficiently document crash data.

🟠 Federal Grant Rules Revised: The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is expected to soon release a final update to its Guidance for Grants and Agreements, which will bring many helpful financial changes for all federal grantees. Proposed changes include raising thresholds for indirect costs and single audits, easing the disposal of grant-funded equipment, reducing the need for prior approval for certain purchases, and further clarifying which terms refer to grant recipients and subrecipients.

🟠 Performance Review: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is accepting comments until February 26 on proposed revisions to the agency’s National Performance Management Measures. This includes traffic safety performance measures shared by FHWA and NHTSA state grantees.

🟠 Help HALT Impaired Driving: NHTSA is accepting comments until March 1 on an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to mandate advanced impairment detection technology in all new vehicles. This promising technology could save more than 10,000 lives per year once fully implemented and is critical to the goal of completely eradicating drunk driving.

🟠 Federal Fiscal Fog: The U.S. Congress has adopted another short-term funding package to keep the government running until March, further delaying distribution of Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2024 transportation grant funding. The U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal agencies are subject to a Continuing Resolution (CR) until March 1 at FFY 2023 levels. The remainder of the federal government is under a CR until March 8.

Member Spotlight

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

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