PHOENIX - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on March 28 presented awards at the 29th Annual Lifesavers Conference to 17 individuals and groups for their achievement in promoting highway safety.
"While we will never rest, the hard work of our awardees and organizations like Lifesavers is helping to make traveling on America's roads safer than ever before," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland, who was on hand for the three-day safety meeting, presented the awards at a luncheon ceremony in the Phoenix Convention Center.
"Our award winners exemplify the highest standards of achievement in the field of traffic safety," Strickland said. "We are seeing major progress in a whole range of safety areas thanks to the professionalism, dedication and energy of our award winners and thousands like them in communities all across the country."
Lifesavers is a national nonprofit organization devoted to improving highway safety. Its annual meetings provide a forum for safety advocates to discuss the latest advances in highway safety.
The 17 award winners, and their plaque citations, are as follows:
Safety Champion Award
Janette Fennell, founder and president, KidsAndCars.org, Leawood, Kan.: "In recognition of your dedication and hard work to raise awareness of the dangers to children in and around vehicles. Your on-going crusade for safety has helped to save lives and prevent tragedies."
Public Service Awards
- Lt. Jonlee Anderle, Laramie Police Department, Laramie, Wyo.: "In recognition of your leadership in traffic safety and impaired-driving prevention in your community, in Wyoming, and in the nation."
- Jerold Cibley, traffic safety advocate, Foxboro, Mass.: "In recognition of your determination and persistence to reduce distracted driving in Massachusetts and across the nation."
- Beth Ebel, M.D., M.P.H., director, Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center, Seattle, Wash.: "In recognition of your outstanding contributions to the safe transport of children through the promotion of child booster seats in America."
- Linda Gray, Arizona State Senator, District 10, Phoenix, Ariz.: "In recognition of your dedication to public safety in Arizona through sponsoring numerous bills relating to DUI and other traffic safety issues."
- James R. Hanni, executive vice president, AAA Allied Group, Topeka, Kan.: "In recognition of your superior leadership and enduring dedication in the passage of a primary seat belt law to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and injuries in Kansas."
- David C. Huff, director, Montana Traffic Education Programs, Office of Public Instruction, Helena, Mont.: "In recognition of your outstanding leadership in finding common ground within the driver education community in the development and implementation of national administrative standards."
- Patrick James, traffic safety advocate, Greer, S.C.: "In recognition of your advocacy and dedication to bringing national attention to the safety issues surrounding 15-passenger vans and for promoting continued outreach to owners of vans without the latest safety features."
- LaVonne King, Indian reservation roads technician, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Lame Deer, Mont.: "In recognition of your outstanding dedication and steadfast commitment to preventing fatalities and injuries on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation's roads and highways."
- Cathy L. Lanier, chief, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C.: "In recognition of your extraordinary law enforcement leadership, support, and commitment in promoting highway safety and saving lives in the District of Columbia."
- Robert Lillis, president, Evalumetrics Research, Canandaigua, N.Y.: "In recognition of your long-time commitment and dedication to the Impaired Driving Technical Assessment Program and to states as they seek to strengthen their impaired driving programs."
- Matthew Mento, digital account executive, ESPN, Chicago, Ill.: "In recognition of your leadership and commitment to raising national public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving."
- Deb Miller, Secretary of Transportation, Topeka, Kan.: "In recognition of your superior leadership and enduring dedication in the passage of a primary seat belt law to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and injuries in Kansas."
- New York City Department of Transportation, New York, N.Y.: "In recognition of its successful, multidisciplinary approach to reducing traffic fatalities and for its comprehensive strategic plan to reduce pedestrian fatalities."
- Ohio Strategic Transportation Safety Plan Committee, Ohio Department of Transportation, Columbus, Ohio: "In recognition of its leadership role in implementing the Strategic Highway Safety Plan process and the partnerships that helped Ohio achieve historic low traffic fatality numbers in 2009."
- Jevon Thoresen, account executive, ESPN, Chicago, Ill.: "In recognition of your leadership and commitment to raising national public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving."
- Dwayne Umbarger, Kansas State Senator, District 14, Thayer, Kan.: "In recognition of your superior leadership and enduring dedication in the passage of a primary seat belt law to reduce motor vehicle fatalities and injuries in Kansas."