LONG BEACH, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) presented 16 individuals and organizations with the NHTSA Public Service Award at today’s 34th Annual Lifesavers Conference. The agency’s top public service award recognizes the tireless efforts and outstanding contributions many people make to improve highway safety throughout the country.
“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. We thank them for their service, for the difference they have made, and the example they are setting for others.”
The Lifesavers conference is the nation’s largest assembly of highway safety professionals. The conference highlights and shares emerging traffic safety data, and issues, and exposes participants to proven life-saving programs and best practices that they can use in their individual jurisdictions. This year’s conference hosted by the non-profit Lifesavers Organization, runs from April 3- 5 in Long Beach, CA and is expected to draw well over 2,500 participants and 90 exhibitors.
“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 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.”
The NHTSA Public Service Awards recognize and honor an individual or organization, who exemplifies high standards of achievements in the field of traffic safety; and through his/her or the group’s accomplishments, has contributed to the quality of life in the community, state or nation. Nominations were limited to individuals and organizations who conduct these activities as volunteers or in a civic capacity. Award winners were nominated by NHTSA staff members and selected by senior NHTSA leadership.
Here are the 16 public service award winners and their plaque citations:
- Colonel Michael Edmonson / Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Services, Louisiana State Police – Baton Rouge, LA: In recognition and appreciation of your leadership in advancing traffic safety enforcement programs across the Nation including the Drive to Save Lives campaign.
- Lieutenant Scott Harner / Ocean City Police Department – Ocean City, MD: In recognition of your collaborative efforts and 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: In recognition of your outstanding 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: In recognition of your expert 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: In recognition of your outstanding service in protecting communities and enhancing traffic safety by providing expert legal advice and training to our Nation’s criminal justice community.
- Dr. Beau Kilmer / Co-Director of RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center – Santa Monica, CA: In recognition of your leadership and innovation in the areas of alcohol and drug- impaired driving program and policy research.
- Officer Joey Koher / West Virginia Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Coordinator – Huntington, WV: In recognition of your advancement of West Virginia’s DRE program and your commitment to reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities caused by impaired driving offenders.
- Thelma Kuska / National Child Passenger Safety Board – Palos Hills, IL: In recognition of your extraordinary commitment to the safe transport of children and teens through education and training.
- Carl McDonald / MADD’s National Law Enforcement Initiatives Manager – Casper, WY: In recognition and appreciation of your outstanding advocacy by bringing awareness to the devastating effects of impaired driving.
- Rep. Lee B. Perry / Utah State House of Representatives – Bingham, UT: In recognition of 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: In recognition of your outstanding service in 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: In recognition of working to reshape roadways into safer, more equitable, and comfortable streets for pedestrians and bicyclists through community engagement across Portland and Seattle.
- Sergeant Luis Taborda / Miami Police Department – Miami: In recognition of your coordination of the Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety program in Miami and your 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: In recognition of your outstanding service in protecting communities and enhancing traffic safety by providing expert legal advice and training to our Nation’s criminal justice community.
- Cathy Tuttle / Executive Director Neighborhood Greenways – Seattle: In recognition of working to reshape roadways into safer, more equitable, and comfortable streets for pedestrians and bicyclists through community engagement across Seattle.
- Dr. William Haddon, (Posthumously) / US DOT 50th Anniversary Award Winner: In honor of the first Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Dr. William Haddon – Pioneer, Physician, Leader, Scientist – for his enduring contributions to motor vehicle safety in the United States.