Traffic Safety, Government, Business Leaders Convene in New York City to Address U.S. Roadway Safety Crisis

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News Releases

August 10, 2023

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

NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson and NBC's Al Roker headline packed slate of speakers at largest-ever GHSA Annual Meeting

New York City, N.Y. – The nation’s top roadway safety leaders will convene for the Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) 2023 Annual Meeting, “Redefining Possible: Traffic Safety in a Changing World,” August 12-16 in New York City. The meeting, hosted by the New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (NYGTSC) and held at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, comes at a critical time as roadway deaths remain at unprecedented levels and dangerous driving behaviors continue to plague our roads. With more than 850 people already registered, this will be GHSA’s best-attended conference in its 56-year history.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman will kick off the Opening General Session with remarks on Monday, August 14, at 8:30 a.m. ET. Shulman will discuss the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy that adopts the Safe System approach, NHTSA’s ongoing traffic safety efforts and how the agency and states can collaborate to reduce crashes, injuries and deaths on U.S. roadways. Following her remarks, Ford Motor Company’s Bob Holycross, Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, will discuss the automaker’s vision for safety, efforts to introduce new vehicle safety technologies and how the safety and automotive communities can expand our collaboration to prevent crashes and save lives.

Later in the day, at 4 p.m., a panel of experts will discuss how to create and sustain a roadway safety dialogue with diverse communities, so that traffic safety services are available to those who need them the most. Speakers include Torine Creppy, President, Safe Kids Worldwide; Stacey D. Stewart, CEO, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD); Shelly Baldwin, Director, Washington Traffic Safety Commission and Co-Chair of GHSA’s Equity and Engagement Committee; and Dimitrios (Jim) Mastoras, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Safe Night LLC and Master Police Officer (Ret.). Licet Gaveau, NYGTSC Executive Director and Co-Chair of GHSA’s Equity and Engagement Committee, will moderate the discussion.

On Tuesday, August 15, three national traffic safety leaders will provide an early report card on implementation of the Safe System approach and what must be done to support this new, comprehensive way of thinking about traffic safety. Speakers include Toks Omishakin, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency; Lorraine M. Martin, President and CEO, National Safety Council; and Russ Rader, Senior Vice President for Communications, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Tuesday afternoon, at 12:15 p.m., GHSA will honor people and programs making exceptional contributions to traffic safety at its Highway Safety Awards Luncheon. Acting NHTSA Administrator Ann Carlson will be the guest speaker. Information about the award winners will be posted on the GHSA website following the luncheon.

On Wednesday, August 16, at 8:45 a.m., a town hall discussion will focus on how to improve safety for people walking, biking, rolling, scooting and using other forms of non-motorized transportation. With pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities at four-decade highs, a panel of experts will share with the audience what must be done to protect people outside motor vehicles. Speakers include Amy Cohen, Co-Founder, Families for Safe Streets; Nanda Srinivasan, Associate Administrator, Research and Program Development, NHTSA; Jaime Sullivan, P.E., Director, National Center for Rural Road Safety; Cheryl Walker, Associate Administrator for Safety, Federal Highway Administration; and Rebecca Sanders, Founder and Principal Investigator, Safe Streets Research and Consulting.

The conference concludes on Wednesday with a conversation with Al Roker, Weather and Feature Anchor, and Co-Host of the 3rd Hour of NBC's TODAY; New York Times best-selling author; and 14-time Emmy winner. Roker will speak about overcoming adversity, rising to meet new challenges, and how to create connections with new people and communities, among other topics.

In addition to the general sessions, 17 workshops will feature experts from across the country who are working to address critical traffic safety issues. A wide array of timely highway safety topics will be addressed, including engaging underserved communities, combating alcohol- and drug-impaired driving, slowing drivers down using automated enforcement and other countermeasures, equitably enforcing traffic safety laws and making distracted driving socially unacceptable. There will also be nearly 60 exhibitors on hand to showcase new technology, products and services to improve highway safety.

GHSA’s Annual Meeting is supported by more than 50 national organizations committed to improving traffic safety, including Abbott, Alliance Highway SafetyAmazon, Blue Line SolutionsCambridge Mobile Telematics, Check to ProtectFord Motor Company Fund, General Motors, HAAS AlertIntoxalock, LexisNexis, Michelin Mobility Intelligence, the National Road Safety Foundation, Qualcomm,, Smart Start, State FarmUber and Waymo.

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 New York City.

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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 find us on Facebook and X/Twitter.