Thursday, August 27, 2009

State, National Traffic Safety Leaders to Convene in Savannah

Distracted Driving, New Technologies Among Topics to be Discussed

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety will host the annual GHSA meeting at The Savannah International Trade & Convention Center August 30-September 2. Approximately 500 top highway safety and public health officials from across the country will be in attendance. The 2009 GHSA conference theme Toward Zero Deaths: Every Life Counts focuses on the programs and strategies needed to reduce roadway deaths. This is the vision GHSA believes the country should strive for, with the interim goal of reducing fatalities by half in the next 20 years. The conference will kickoff Monday morning, August 31 and will feature as keynote speakers:

The Honorable Deborah A.P. Hersman, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Ms. Hersman will discuss steps states should take to reduce roadway deaths and injuries. Ms. Hersman was appointed as NTSB Chairman by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in July. This will be her first address before the highway safety community in her new role as Chairman. James Vondale, Director, Automotive Safety Office, Ford Motor Company. Mr. Vondale will discuss the role of the automobile industry in achieving a significant reduction in traffic deaths. He also will talk about Ford's SYNC hands-free calling system, which the company believes reduces driver distraction. In a subsequent workshop, Mr. Vondale will discuss Ford's MyKey tool that allows parents to monitor their teens driving behavior. Workshops will address a multitude of traditional and emerging highway safety issues. Topics include:

Teen Drivers: Crashes Waiting to Happen
New and Cool Highway Safety Technologies
Rural Highways Don't Have to be Dieways

Getting Aggressive with Motorcycle Safety What's Driving Distracted Driving?
A conference program is available online at News media representatives may call GHSA Communications Director Jonathan Adkins on site in Savannah at 202-669-9746.
General session and workshop speakers will be available to the media following their sessions.

The GHSA Annual Meeting is being sponsored by a variety of state and local organizations. A list is available online,

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 and enhance program management. 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

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