March 14, 2022 | Washington, DC
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced the 2022 NHTSA Public Service Awards at the annual Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities in Chicago.
“This year’s honorees are doing vital work to save lives on America’s roadways, and that’s never been more important than right now with traffic deaths on the rise,” said Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who addressed the conference. “We cannot and must not accept these tragic deaths as somehow inevitable—they are preventable, and we are grateful to these extraordinary awardees for their tireless efforts to keep people safe.”
“We applaud the outstanding efforts of the highway safety professionals who help keep us safe on our nation’s roads,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator. “Each awardee has worked tirelessly to make a real difference in the safety of our roads in local communities, cities, states and the nation.”
The Lifesavers Conference is the largest annual gathering of highway safety professionals in the United States. The awards recognize individuals and organizations for achievements in the field of traffic safety. The awardees aim to help achieve the zero-roadway fatality goal outlined in the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, released in January.
NHTSA recognized 11 Public Service Award winners and one Lifetime Achievement Award winner. The awardees received plaques with the following citations:
Environmental Branch Chief, Office of Alcohol Testing
Arkansas Department of Health
Citation: For your tireless efforts to improve ignition interlock programs in Arkansas and across the United States.
Arizona State Drug Recognition Expert Coordinator
Mesa Police Department
Citation: For your dedication to promoting and improving the work of Drug Recognition Experts through training, media promotion, and advancement of a web-based management system.
FIESTA IX Project
University of Puerto Rico, Ponce
Citation: For your tireless work to reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Puerto Rico, especially for young adults under the age of 21.
Georgia Operation Lifesaver
Citation: For your leadership of the Operation Lifesaver program, saving countless lives by raising public awareness about railroad crossing safety.
Regional Program Director
Toward Zero Deaths
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Citation: In recognition of your efforts to reduce traffic fatalities and increase seat belt use in Tribal communities across Minnesota.
Captain David “Mac” MacAlpine – posthumous
New Hanover County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Office
Citation: For a career dedicated to cooperation among law enforcement agencies, expanding traffic safety enforcement campaigns and saving lives on North Carolina’s roadways.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Citation: For MADD’s instrumental role in educating policymakers and the public on the dangers of impaired driving, and for your advocacy for a new standard for advanced automotive technologies.
Dr. Clay Mann, Ph.D.
National Emergency Medical Services Information System
Citation: In recognition of your efforts to improve data collection and communication across EMS systems for the improvement of health outcomes for motor vehicle crash victims.
Sergeant Wesley Pennington
Rhode Island State Police
Citation: For your dedication to raising awareness among fellow officers about implicit bias, and for instilling the goal of zero crash fatalities in all community members.
Judge Wesley A. Roberts
Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial District, Fremont County, Wyoming
Citation: For your reinstitution and expansion of and advocacy for the 24/7 Sobriety Program in Wyoming.
Irene Riojas Rodriguez (Lifetime Achievement Award) – posthumous
Child Passenger Safety Instructor
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Citation: For groundbreaking success in developing and implementing lifesaving Child Passenger Safety programs for underserved populations among the Latino, Black, and Tribal communities.
Safe on All Roads (SOAR) Program
Montana Department of Transportation
Citation: In recognition of SOAR and innovative traffic safety campaigns that combine community and multimodal outreach to bring critical occupant protection traffic safety messaging to Tribal communities in Montana.