Safe System, Distracted Driving, Rural Roads Top Agenda at National Traffic Safety Conference

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News Releases

September 15, 2022

CONTACT: Adam Snider (GHSA), 202-580-7930
202-365-8971 (after hours)

GHSA 2022 Annual Meeting brings together national safety leaders amid a surge in traffic fatalities and dangerous driving on U.S. roads

WASHINGTON, D.C. and LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The nation’s top highway safety leaders will convene at the Louisville Marriott Downtown for the Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) 2022 Annual Meeting, "Redefining Possible: Traffic Safety in a Changing World," September 17-21. The meeting, hosted by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, comes at a critical time, as roadway deaths continue to rise amid an uptick in risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, driving impaired or distracted, and not buckling up.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Acting Administrator Ann Carlson will kick off the Opening General Session with remarks on Monday, September 19, at 8:30 a.m. ET. Carlson will discuss the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, which adopts the Safe System approach; NHTSA’s ongoing traffic safety efforts; and opportunities to collaborate with states and communities to reduce highway deaths and injuries. Following her remarks, Mauricio Peña, Chief Safety Officer, Waymo, will discuss the company's efforts to develop autonomous vehicle technology and how the Waymo Driver can help address the behavioral safety issues that put vehicle occupants and other road users at risk. Recognizing that not everyone can travel, GHSA is webcasting several sessions to allow highway safety professionals unable to be in Louisville to benefit from the expert discussion. Register for a live webcast of the Opening General Session here.

Later in the day, at 1 p.m., William J. Bratton, who spent 46 years in law enforcement and is the only person to lead the police departments of America's two largest cities, will offer his perspective on how to provide equitable, community-based law enforcement. Commissioner Bratton is currently Executive Chairman, Risk Advisory at Teneo and is author of the popular 2021 book, “The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America.” Register for a live webcast of his remarks here.

On Tuesday, September 20, at 8:30 a.m., a panel of national traffic safety leaders will explore what states and communities should focus on to advance the Safe System approach. Also, a new impaired driving survey will be released by David Harkey, President of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). Joining Dr. Harkey on the panel will be Alex Otte, National President, MADD; and David Strickland, Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs and Transportation Technology Policy, General Motors (GM) and former NHTSA Administrator. Register to livestream the session here.

That afternoon at 3:30 p.m., experts will discuss the pervasive yet preventable traffic safety problem of distracted driving and highlight findings of a recent report from GHSA and GM that urges a broad culture shift to make this deadly behavior socially unacceptable. Panelists will include officials from NHTSA, GM,, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, SADD and Nationwide. Register here for a live webcast of this session.

On Wednesday, September 21, at 8:30 a.m., the rural road safety problem, the subject of a new report from GHSA and funded by State Farm®, will be spotlighted. The expert panel will include representatives from NHTSA, the National Center for Rural Road Safety, Toxcel, the Wyoming Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office and the Oklahoma Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

The conference will conclude on Wednesday with a conversation with Jane Pauley, one of the world’s most respected journalists and host of "CBS Sunday Morning," who will discuss her distinguished career, her personal experience and advocacy on mental health and how to reinvent yourself late in your career, among other topics.

In addition to the general sessions, there will be 20 workshops featuring experts from across the country who are working to address critical traffic safety issues including engaging underserved communities, alcohol- and drug-impaired driving, speeding, equity in traffic enforcement, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and novice and mature drivers. There will also be more than 40 exhibitors on hand to showcase products and services that are being employed to improve highway safety.

GHSA’s Annual Meeting is supported by more than 40 leading organizations committed to improving traffic safety, including Amazon, Ford Motor Company Fund, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (, GM, The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. and Uber.

A detailed meeting agenda is available on the GHSA website. Reporters should contact Adam Snider at or 202-580-7930 for press credentials. Many general session and workshop speakers will be available for interviews onsite in Louisville or via Zoom.

General Session Webcast Information

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About GHSA

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Visit for more information or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.