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Governors Highway Safety Association presents 2017 National Highway Safety Awards

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has presented its 2017 National Highway Safety Awards to three individuals and three programs that have made an impact on road safety in the USA.

The Highway Safety Awards were presented during the GHSA’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, and honored three people who have made a tremendous impact on improving national highway safety, and three regional programs that have successfully tackled local highway safety issues.

The GHSA represents the highway safety offices of states, territories and districts that aim to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, and promote best practices.

The GHSA presented its most prestigious honor, the James J Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award, to Adrian K Lund (right), president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Lund, throughout his 36-year career at IIHS, has led projects contributing to policy, business and behavioral changes that have saved tens of thousands of lives and spanned a wide range of issues that impact the safety of all road users.

Two individuals were recognized with the Kathryn J R Swanson Public Service Award:
• William L Hall (far left), a senior research associate with the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, who has devoted his career to research and public education on child passenger safety, leading to the widespread acceptance that children should be restrained while riding in cars;
• Trenda McPherson (left), the state bicycle and pedestrian safety program manager at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Traffic Safety Office, and former manager of the Florida Motorcycle Safety Program, which saw a 30% drop in motorcycle fatalities and a nearly 22% 

reduction in injuries. Through her bicyclist and pedestrian program, over two years, the state moved from having the USA’s highest pedestrian fatality rate to fifth place.

GHSA also presented three Peter K O’Rourke Special Achievement Awards to:
• The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, near Seattle, Washington, that made driving and traffic safety a priority for employees, reducing the number of on-duty crashes by 16% in 2016, and preventable collisions by 13%;
• The Teen Driver Impact Program in Mississippi (below), that trains teenagers how and why to drive safely, with participants reporting a 13% increase in seatbelt usage by drivers and a 20% increase by passengers; 
• ‘Watch for Me NC’, a comprehensive effort to reduce bicyclist and pedestrian deaths in North Carolina, combining education and enforcement, that shows a 32% increase in the rate of drivers complying with yielding laws at intersections.

October 3, 2017

Written by Adam Frost

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