CDC Scientist Wins Highway Safety Award

David A. Sleet, Ph.D., associate director for Science with the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at CDC, who has done important research that helped bring about stronger child passenger safety laws, adoption of the national 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration standard nationwide, and safer airbag designs, according to GHSA.

The Governors Highway Safety Association presented its 2016 highway safety awards last week during GHSA's 2016 Annual Meeting, which took place in Seattle. The association's most prestigious honor, the James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award, went to David A. Sleet, Ph.D., associate director for Science with the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at CDC, who has done important research that helped bring about stronger child passenger safety laws, adoption of the national 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration standard nationwide, and safer airbag designs, according to GHSA. "Today, every state has a .08 BAC level and child passenger safety laws are in place across the nation. Dr. Sleet's lifetime of work, spanning 37 years and three continents, continues to save lives on our roadways," its announcement stated.

The Kathryn J.R. Swanson Public Service Award went to Betty Mercer, a former Governor's Representative at the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning who now runs a consulting practice focusing on traffic safety policy, planning, and leadership development. She is a former vice chair at GHSA and a current member of the Transportation Research Board Occupant Protection Committee.

And GHSA presented four Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards for outstanding highway safety accomplishments to these programs:

  • The Connecticut DOT and UConn Transportation Safety Research Center Crash Data Improvement, a partnership that created a statewide electronic reporting system.
  • The New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and ITSMR DRE Tablet Application, which allows Drug Recognition Expert officers to use tablet computers to enter their observations and assessments of persons suspected of drugged driving. It is a partnership between the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and the University of Albany Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research that "comes as the drugged driving problem continues to grow, and law enforcement officers need tools to help them evaluate impaired motorists, as well as data to help them better understand where to focus enforcement efforts. As this tablet application is implemented in more states, it can make our roads safer from drug-impaired drivers," GHSA stated.
  • The North Carolina Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking, a North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission campaign to minimize the cost of underage drinking to the state.
  • Texas Municipal Traffic Safety Initiatives, which was established in 2008 to educate the Texas judiciary on impaired driving laws, issues, legislation, and trends and to give courts resources to educate their communities on the dangers of impaired driving. During the past year, MTSI provided more than 9,000 hours of training, assisted 271 courts with anti-DUI exhibits, and shipped impaired driving resources to more than 1,500 courts and other municipal organizations.

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