NHTSA 10-11
Monday, June 13, 2011
Contact: Lynda Tran
Tel: 202-366-9550

NHTSA Hosts 22nd Biennial Enhanced Safety of Vehicles Conference;
International Exhibition Highlights Latest in Vehicle Safety Technologies

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today welcomed hundreds of the world's leading vehicle and highway safety experts to the 22nd International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles by lauding advancements that have led to the lowest number and rate of U.S. traffic fatalities in more than 60 years.

"The dedication of auto safety experts around the world is one of the many reasons we've seen an impressive drop in highway deaths in recent years," said Secretary LaHood. "Here in the United States, the advances we've witnessed in vehicle safety technology complement our efforts to combat distracted driving, curb drunk driving, maximize seat belt use and improve roadway designs."

The United States' commitment of unprecedented resources toward public education campaigns and improved roadways has contributed to the lowest number and rate of traffic fatalities since 1949. According to figures compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of traffic fatalities has dropped by 25 percent since 2005.

Highlights from the four-day vehicle safety conference will include:

  • An international exhibition displaying the latest cutting-edge vehicle safety technologies and research initiatives from countries around the world.
  • Demonstrations of the latest in-vehicle crash avoidance technologies, including vehicle-to-vehicle communications and other advanced systems fitted in both production and prototype vehicles.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland also honored eight individuals with U.S. Government Awards at the ESV conference, including five who received "Special Awards of Appreciation" and three who received "Awards for Safety Engineering Excellence."

"Traffic safety is at the core of a free and dynamic global community," said Administrator Strickland. "These individuals have made significant advances toward achieving this goal."

The awardees for 2011 are:

U.S. Government Special Awards of Appreciation

Gyu Hyun Kim, Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute, TS, Korea; Thomas Broberg,Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden; Matthew Avery, Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, United Kingdom; Guy S. Nusholtz, Chrysler Group LLC, United States; Tony R. Laituri, Ford Motor Company, United States.

U.S. Government Awards for Safety Engineering Excellence

Erik Coelingh, Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden; Hideki Yonezawa (Awarded Posthumously), National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory (NTSEL), Japan; Wassim G. Najm, Advanced Vehicle Technology Division, Volpe Center, RITA, U.S. DOT, United States.

The biennial conference is convening for a global vehicle safety summit and technology exhibition at the National Harbor from June 13-16.

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