Criminal Justice News

Thursday, September 04, 2014

National Highway Safety Leaders Gather in Grand Rapids

Drugged, Distracted Driving Among Topics

WASHINGTON, D.C. and GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- September 6-10, more than 500 of the nation's top highway safety leaders will meet in Michigan to continue their collective work toward preventing crashes and fatalities on the nation's roadways.

The 2014 Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) meeting, Mapping out the Future: Highway Safety after MAP-21, takes place in downtown Grand Rapids at the Amway Grand Plaza and DeVos Place Convention Center. The event is hosted by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

General sessions will focus on what the future holds for highway safety. Day-by-day highlights include:

Monday's keynote session features the nation's top highway safety official, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator David Friedman discussing the outlook for highway safety legislation and NHTSA's priorities for the coming year. Joining him is Steve Kenner, Ford Motor Company's Global Director of Automotive Safety, who will share what's on the horizon on driver and passenger safety.

On Tuesday morning, New York Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matt Richtel will discuss his new book A Deadly Wandering - the true story of a deadly distracted driving crash and historic criminal case that followed.

Additionally, AAA Vice President of Public Affairs Kathleen Bower and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Director of Engineering and Technical Services King Gee will cover their respective organizations' position and outlook on reauthorization of the federal transportation funding bill.

Wednesday's highlights includes a general session on drugged driving, looking at the impact of loosening marijuana laws and overall drug use on highway safety. Closing out the conference - and back by popular demand - renowned pollster and public policy expert Peter Hart will preview the 2014 election in an interactive and engaging presentation at a luncheon.

Fifteen breakout workshops will cover a variety of hot-button highway safety topics, including partnering to stop distracted driving, innovative alcohol-impaired driving enforcement strategies, and more.

A detailed meeting agenda is available online. News media representatives may email GHSA communications director Kara Macek at for press credentials. General session and workshop speakers will be available for interviews following their sessions.

The meeting is supported by a number of companies and organizations, including AT&T, Ford Motor Company Fund/Ford Driving Skills for Life, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, State Farm® and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. A complete list of meeting sponsors is available online at

About GHSA
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 Find us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter at @GHSAHQ.

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