“Big Three” Highway Safety Challenges Top State Safety Chief’s Agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 1, 2014 – Kendell Poole, Director of the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office, was re-elected for a third term as chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), at the association’s Annual Meeting, held earlier this month in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GHSA is the national nonprofit organization that represents the state and territorial state highway safety offices across the country.
Under Poole’s leadership, GHSA will continue to focus on assisting state implementation of highway safety programs authorized under MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century), the federal highway bill which provides needed resources to states to keep America’s roads safe, and work with Congress to advocate for a long-term reauthorization of this critical legislation. In addition, GHSA will continue to provide national leadership on key highway safety issues, including drunk and drug-impaired driving, occupant protection, distracted driving and pedestrian safety.
Chairman Poole noted GHSA remains committed to addressing the “Big 3” highway safety issues: impaired driving, occupant protection and speeding. “States are working diligently to continue the gains in these areas by leveraging proven countermeasures such as the national Click It or Ticket seat belt mobilization and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drunk driving crackdowns,” said Poole.
Under Poole’s guidance, GHSA will work to promote best practices to keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe. The Association has several projects under way in this arena. Poole notes, “It’s fantastic that more people are walking and biking. However, we want to insure that they arrive to their destinations safely.”
Distracted driving continues to play a role in crashes impacting all road users. To provide funding for programs that address this important safety issue, GHSA will continue to urge Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration support changes in the distracted driving incentive in MAP-21. Despite nearly all states enacting and enforcing a texting-while-driving ban, amazingly, only one state, Connecticut, qualifies for the federal distracted driving incentive.
GHSA also continues to work on the issues of motorcycle safety and teen driving. GHSA supports a comprehensive strategy of laws, training, licensing, and education to address motorcycle safety, and strong graduated driver licensing laws coupled with research-based parent education programs to help teens survive their most dangerous driving years.
Prior to his 2012 election as GHSA Chairman, Poole was a member of the Association’s Executive Board for multiple terms. He was appointed to his position in Tennessee in 2006 by Governor Phil Bredesen and continues to serve in the administration of Governor Bill Haslam.
Joining Poole in leading GHSA through the next year are John Saunders (Vice Chairman), Director of Highway Safety Services for the Virginia Highway Safety Office; Jana Simpler (Secretary), Director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety; and Bill Bell (Treasurer), Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter at @GHSAHQ.