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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government


March 31, 1998

Tuesday, March 31, 1998
Contact: Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

CLEVELAND -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced awards at the 16th annual Lifesavers conference in Cleveland honoring 18 individuals and groups from across the nation for accomplishments in promoting highway safety. "Safety is President Clinton's highest transportation priority, and the individuals who earned awards made safety their priority," NHTSA Administrator Ricardo Martinez, M.D., said. "They put aside their own interests to work for the common good and the promise of better things to come. Success in achieving further improvements in traffic safety will boil down to individual efforts like theirs."

President Clinton has pledged support for a comprehensive national strategy to increase seat belt use to 85 percent and to reduce child fatalities in traffic accidents by 15 percent by the year 2000. The President also has urged states to adopt a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving, and has called on Congress to pass legislation helping to ensure a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 becomes the national limit.

Lifesavers 16 is a national four-day conference on highway safety priorities. It is attended this year by 1,200 people participating in more than 50 workshops and viewing more than 65 exhibits dealing with traffic safety products and programs. Those attending include representatives from the public and private sectors as well as community traffic safety workers.

At Lifesavers 16 they are learning and sharing information on a range of safety topics, from occupant protection and impaired driving to roadway safety and vehicle technology. Dr. Martinez commended the representatives from around the nation for their efforts to reduce traffic deaths and injuries.

Public service awards were presented to the following persons for the achievements indicated:

Teri Crawley, R.N., MSN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, for outstanding leadership in injury prevention initiatives in Region V, specifically in the child passenger safety program.

Chief Peter Carnes, Yarmouth Police Department, Yarmouth, Mass., for his outstanding leadership and service in removing impaired drivers from the Massachusetts highways.

Michael James, Buddy Wiggin's Garage, Huntsville, Ala., for his commitment to reducing injuries and saving children's lives by demonstrating the correct installation of child safety seats in Alabama.

Carl P. Valenziano, M.D., Director, Surgical Critical Care and Trauma, Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown, N.J., for his tireless efforts to prevent injuries in his community of Morris County and throughout New Jersey .

Nancy Rodrigues, Director, Drive Smart Virginia, Glen Allen, Va., for successful development of a model traffic safety program that brings private industry, state and local government and advocacy groups to the table to champion highway safety.

Kathryn Kruger, Executive Director, and Linda Galer, Assistant Director, Washington State Safety Restraint Coalition, Kirkland, Wash., for the Safety Restraint Coalition's outstanding achievements in promoting child seats and the significant contribution they have made to saving lives in the Northwest.

Richard H. Shire, Public Policy Liaison, MADD-Mass., and June L. Shire, Victim Advocate, Plymouth County MADD, Plymouth, Mass., for their longstanding commitment to reducing the havoc caused by impaired drivers and their dedication to making the presence of victims felt in our court rooms.

Cynthia Prince, Director of Substance Abuse Education, Crowley's Ridge Development Council, Jonesboro, Ark., for her tireless dedication and unswerving commitment to saving lives and preventing injuries among Arkansas youth.

Colonel Sid Miles, Commander, Georgia State Patrol, and Commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Safety, Atlanta, for his commitment to public education and enforcement of the Georgia safety belt use law and the resulting increased safety belt use in Georgia.

Alta Bruce, Highway Safety Director, Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe, Belcourt, N.D., for her pioneering highway safety efforts offering hope to traumatic brain injury survivors, and bringing safer traffic laws for the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe.

Richard W. Jones, Retired Driver Education Instructor, Keokuk, Iowa, for his half-century of contributions to injury reduction as a driver educator and highway safety advocate in Iowa and nationally.

Northern Nevada DUI Task Force, Reno, Nev., for superb community service efforts and improvement in quality of life through reduction of the incidence of impaired driving in the greater Reno area.

B. Tilman Jolly, M.D., Associate Professor, The George Washington University Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine, Washington, D.C., for tireless leadership and dedication to the prevention of motor vehicle injuries nationwide and in Washington, D.C.

Fran and Ken Nathanson, President and Co-founders of Citizens for Safe Drivers, Bethesda, Md., for more than 20 years' support for highway safety initiatives, and in particular, for their support of nationwide improvement in driver record systems, leading to the conversion of the National Driver Register to a fully electronic system.

RID-USA, Schenectady, N.Y., on the occasion of its 20th anniversary and for its work to provide swifter, more severe punishment of drunk drivers, and for its crusade to raise the nation's consciousness about the devastation that drinking and driving causes victims and their families.

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