Traffic Safety Coalition Receives Highway Safety Award

Traffic Safety Coalition Receives Highway Safety Award from the Governors Highway Safety Association
Traffic safety grassroots organization honored for efforts to make roads safer

CINICINNATI (September 28, 2011) —The Traffic Safety Coalition (TSC) received the Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Award from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) for outstanding achievements in highway safety during the Annual Meeting in Cincinnati yesterday.

Governers Highway Safety Association

Governers Highway Safety Association

The GHSA represents the state and territorial highway safety offices across the country that implements programs to address highway safety issues. Every year the GHSA presents the Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Award to recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year. The TSC was one of five groups acknowledged for a traffic safety program, being recognized for its campaign to preserve the right for Illinois cities to use traffic safety cameras.

The campaign was launched in response to proposed legislation to repeal the right of municipalities to utilize cameras. Despite the widespread success of traffic safety camera programs across the state, a small but vocal minority of camera opponents were spreading misinformation to media, decision makers, legislators and the general public. The TSC conducted a comprehensive education and outreach campaign in Illinois, utilizing safety partners to educate road users and decision makers that traffic safety cameras are effective methods of deterring dangerous and illegal driving behavior.

The TSC assembled a coalition of safety advocates including law enforcement, victims’ advocates, local elected officials, national traffic safety organizations and pedestrian and bicyclist groups to create an environment of support for traffic safety cameras in the state of Illinois. The legislation was defeated, allowing Illinois municipalities to continue using traffic safety cameras to catch drivers who break the law in their communities.

“We are honored to receive this award from one of the most prestigious highway safety groups in the country,” said Traffic Safety Coalition National Co-Chair Paul Oberhauser, who accepted the award in Cincinnati Tuesday. “We hope our story and the stories of our partners will continue to educate and inspire people to support crucial safety programs and policies that will reduce crashes and save lives.”

Since the initial success of its Illinois campaign, the TSC has expanded its campaign to support traffic safety initiatives nationwide. The TSC now works with more than 50 partners in more than 30 states across the country.
“Back in 2009, we were proud to be one of the first partners in the Traffic Safety Coalition’s statewide campaign to support traffic safety cameras and have been excited to watch the Coalition grow,” said Mark Haggarty, Executive Director of the Chicago-based Stop for Maya Foundation. “Now, we look forward to working with the Coalition’s national network of traffic safety professionals and advocates in our joint effort to make our roads safer.”

More details about the award are online at www.ghsa.org/html/meetings/awards/11.index.html. To request a photo from the Sept. 27 presentation ceremony, contact Kara Macek at kmacek@ghsa.org or 202-789-0942, ext. 14.

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