Governors Highway Safety Association Presents Top Awards

Dr. James Hedlund received the James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award and Terry Pence, Traffic Safety Section director for the Texas Department of Transportation's Traffic Operations Division, received the Kathryn J.R. Swanson Public Service Award.

The Governors Highway Safety Association this week presented its 2013 highway safety awards, including its most prestigious honor, the James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award. The presentations took place during GHSA's annual meeting at a luncheon sponsored by The Allstate Foundation.

The Trailblazer Award went to Dr. James "Jim" Hedlund for his work to address impaired driving, occupant protection, and other behavioral safety issues. Hedlund held leadership positions with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 22 years before becoming a safety consultant in the late 1990s. "In that capacity, he has published more than 80 influential papers and reports on various traffic safety topics. Dr. Hedlund is currently helping the Transportation Research Board to coordinate the nation's most extensive naturalistic driving study, which is expected to yield significant findings," according to the association's news release.

GHSA presented the Kathryn J.R. Swanson Public Service Award to Terry Pence, Traffic Safety Section director for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Traffic Operations Division, for his leadership in helping to drive Texas' fatality rate to a historic low and for his service to GHSA.

Five Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards went to:

  • The Florida Department of Transportation Bicycle/Pedestrian Focused Initiative, the first statewide, data-driven program that targeted enforcement and educational resources to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in 10 priority counties.
  • Kentucky Drive Down Team, a collaborative effort between East Kentucky Broadcasting and local highway safety officials to improve safety in Pike County. As a result, fatalities on some of the state's most dangerous roads dropped 20 percent.
  • Remembering Ally: Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign, a Michigan-based education program developed in memory of a 16-year-old high school student killed by a distracted driver.
  • The Oregon DOT, Traffic Safety Division E-Crash/E-Citation Program, a traffic analysis system that is helping law enforcement and traffic safety officials identify and take action to address crash hot spots and problem drivers in days rather than months.
  • Utah's "Don't Drive Stupid" Parent Night Program, a component of the state’s Zero Fatalities initiative, which provides a forum for educating parents about the crash risk for teens and the critical role they play in helping their teens survive their most dangerous driving years.

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