The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration honored 16 safety leaders and organizations, including National Safety Council CEO Deborah Hersman, during a special ceremony at the 34th annual Lifesavers Conference.
NHTSA, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, hands out its NHTSA Public Service Awards each year to recognize highway safety contributions throughout the nation. The Lifesavers Conference, held this year April 3-5 in Long Beach, Calif., is the nation’s largest assembly of highway safety professionals.
“The Department of Transportation is dedicated to safety, but we can’t do it alone,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The NHTSA Public Service Award recipients help us improve safety each and every day across the country.”
The winner of the U.S. DOT 50th anniversary Award was Dr. William Haddon, who was saluted posthumously. Haddon, the first administrator of NHTSA, was a celebrated physician and scientist who made major contributions to motor vehicle safety in the U.S.
“We rely on the continued leadership of safety practitioners all across this nation to help us tackle the most dangerous driving practices — whether it is drunk driving, seatbelt use, child passenger safety, or distraction,” said current NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “The winners exemplify the highest levels of dedication and hard work that are critical to saving lives on America’s roads.”
Here are the 16 NHTSA Public Service Award winners:
- Col. Michael Edmonson / Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Services, Louisiana State Police — Baton Rouge, LA (for leadership in advancing traffic safety enforcement programs, including the Drive to Save Lives campaign)
- Dr. William Haddon (Posthumously) / US DOT 50th Anniversary Award Winner (for enduring contributions to motor vehicle safety in the U.S.)
- Lt. Scott Harner / Ocean City Police Department — Ocean City, MD (for dedication to reducing pedestrian fatalities and crashes by championing the Walk Smart program)
- Deborah Hersman / President and CEO of the National Safety Council — Itasca, IL (for contributions to improving transportation safety through advocacy and awareness efforts on a wide range of critical traffic safety issues)
- Johnny Humphreys / Safe Kids Texas Heatstroke Task Force — Austin, TX (for leadership, advice and training to the citizens of Texas on the prevention of child heatstroke deaths in cars)
- Judge Joseph Kavanaugh / Professor National Judicial College— Alexandria, VA (for outstanding service in protecting communities and enhancing traffic safety by providing expert legal advice and training to the nation’s criminal justice community)
- Dr. Beau Kilmer / Co-Director of RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center — Santa Monica, CA (for leadership and innovation in the research of alcohol- and drug-impaired driving policies)
- Officer Joey Koher / West Virginia Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Coordinator — Huntington, WV (for advancing West Virginia’s DRE program and commitment to reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities caused by impaired driving offenders)
- Thelma Kuska / National Child Passenger Safety Board — Palos Hills, IL (for commitment to the safe transport of children and teens through education and training)
- Carl McDonald / MADD’s National Law Enforcement Initiatives Manager — Casper, WY (for bringing awareness to the devastating effects of impaired driving)
- Rep. Lee B. Perry / Utah State House of Representatives — Bingham, UT (for championing occupant protection and other traffic safety issues by encouraging and supporting strong legislation)
- Susan Price / Senior Deputy District Attorney for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office — Santa Ana, CA (for protecting communities and enhancing traffic safety by providing expert legal advice and training resources to Orange County’s criminal justice community)
- Greg Raisman / Executive Director Neighborhood Greenways — Portland, OR (for working to reshape roadways into safer, more equitable, and comfortable streets for pedestrians and bicyclists through community engagement across Portland and Seattle)
- Sgt. Luis Taborda / Miami Police Department — Miami (for coordination of the Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety program in Miami and commitment to reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities caused by impaired driving offenders through DRE training and mentoring)
- Joanne Thomka / Program Director of the National Traffic Law Center, National District Attorney's Association — Alexandria, VA (for protecting communities and enhancing traffic safety by providing expert legal advice and training to the nation’s criminal justice community)
- Cathy Tuttle / Executive Director Neighborhood Greenways — Seattle (for working to reshape roadways into safer, more equitable, and comfortable streets for pedestrians and bicyclists through community engagement across Seattle)