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U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C.


NHTSA 12-04
Monday, March 29, 2004
Contact: Tim Hurd
Telephone: (202) 366-9550

NHTSA Administrator at Lifesavers Conference
Presents Awards for Safety Accomplishments

SAN DIEGO DIEGO --- Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D., administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), today presented the 2004 NHTSA Awards for Public Service to 13 individuals and organizations exemplifying high standards of achievement in the field of traffic safety.

Dr. Runge presented the awards in San Diego during Lifesavers 2004, a national three-day conference on highway safety priorities. More than 1,800 people are expected to participate in more than 85 workshops at the conference and view more than 90 exhibits of traffic safety products and programs.

The annual Lifesavers Conference addresses a wide range of safety topics, from child passenger safety and occupant protection to roadway and vehicle safety and technology. It offers the latest information on advances in highway safety, highlights successful programs, and calls attention to emerging safety issues. Participants represent community traffic safety programs, state and local emergency medical services, injury prevention programs, state and local law enforcement, federal and state highway agencies, prosecutors and judges, and the automotive and insurance industries.

The following individuals and organizations received NHTSA awards for public service:

Karen Arnold-Burger
Presiding Judge, Overland Park Municipal Court
Overland Park, KS
For superior leadership and special dedication in educating youth and parents on the hazards of underage drinking.

James Baker
Executive Director and Founder

Institute for Public Strategies
San Diego, CA
For dedication and commitment to traffic safety and innovative programs to reduce underage drinking and to increase safety belt use.

Erin Breen
Safe Community Partnership Director
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV

For dedication to promoting traffic safety campaigns and coalition building throughout Nevada, and in particular Clark County, to increase safety belt use and to reduce impaired driving.

Janet Brooks
Child Advocacy Manager
Primary Children's Medical Center
Salt Lake City, UT
For exemplary traffic safety advocacy throughout the State of Utah through unparalleled commitment to preventing death and injury to child passengers.

Lt. Patrick Burke
Lieutenant, Metropolitan Police Department
Washington, DC
For exemplary leadership in developing creative and progressive programs to prevent traffic iinjuries and fatalities in the District of Columbia.

Steven R. Casstevens
Assistant Chief, Hoffman Estates Police Department
Hoffman Estates, IL

For significant contributions to the Illinois and U. S. child passenger safety programs and for working tirelessly to involve the law enforcement community in highway safety programs that reduce traffic crashes and the resulting deaths and injuries.

Margaret L. (Peggy) Hayashi
Executive Director, Alaska SAFE KIDS
Chugiak, AK

In recognition of outstanding leadership in forming the Alaska SAFE KIDS Coalition and in being a founding member of the Alaska Injury Prevention Center.

Officer Edmund M. Hedge, Jr.
Officer, New London Police Department
New London, CT

For outstanding support and promotion of highway safety programs in the New England area, and particularly in Connecticut, thatwhich resulted in an improved quality of life.

Lt. Timothy R. Pearson
Lieutenant, North Augusta Police Department
North Augusta, SC

For outstanding leadership, dedication, and commitment to reducing motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities on South Carolina's highways.

Mayor Ralph Peterson, Sr.
Pleasantville, NJ
In recognition of his dedication to saving lives in his community through the promotionby promoting of safety belt and child safety seat use.

Jacqueline Saburido
Concerned citizen and survivor of a drunk driving crash
Louisville, KY

For working tirelessly in the public spotlight despite injuries and pain, and maintaining exerting valiant and relentless efforts to keep impaired driving tragedies from happening to others.

Autumn Alexander Skeen
Parent, journalist, and nationally recognized booster seat advocate
Walla Walla, WA

For tireless dedication and persistence in working for increased use of booster seats by older child passengers through passage of stronger legislation.

Dr. Patricia Fossum Waller (Posthumous Deceased)
Former Director, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

An intrepid traffic safety advocate, a brilliant research scientist with an unflagging lifelong determination to turn research into action, an early architect of life saving graduated licensing for teens, and a lifelong proponent of better approaches to elder driving, impaired driving, pedestrian safety and heavy truck safety, Dr. Waller was a true giant in the field of highway safety.


U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
1-800-424-9153 (TTY)