While the professionals at the Department of Transportation work hard every day to improve the safety of America's transportation systems, we don't do it alone. Countless other organizations across the country are working toward the same goal--keeping you and your loved ones safe on our roads, rails, and runways.
This week in Phoenix a terrific group of safety advocates is gathered for the annual Lifesavers Conference, "the premier national highway safety meeting in the United States dedicated to reducing the tragic toll of deaths and injuries on our nation's roadways."
Participants in Lifesavers 2011, who are already leading safety professionals, will learn even more about a wide range of safety topics, from child passenger safety and occupant protection to roadway and vehicle safety and technology.
I'm proud that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been a key supporter of Lifesavers. And yesterday NHTSA Administrator David Strickland was on hand to present awards to 15 people and two organizations for their outstanding achievement in promoting highway safety across America.
As Administrator Strickland said, "Our award winners exemplify the highest standards of achievement in the field of traffic safety. We are seeing major progress in a whole range of safety areas thanks to the professionalism, dedication and energy of our award winners and thousands like them in communities all across the country."
Among the Public Service awardees was Washington, DC, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who has been a great partner for us as we try to keep pedestrians safe near our DOT headquarters and in our fight against distracted driving.
Public Service awards also went to three of the tireless advocates who worked to pass a primary seat belt law in Kansas: James Hanni of AAA, Deb Miller Kansas Secretary of Transportation, and Kansas State Senator Dwayne Umbarger.
Now these are just a sampling of this year's honorees, and you can see a complete list on the NHTSA website.
Look, when it comes to safety, we at DOT will never rest, but it's good to know that the hard work of our awardees and organizations like Lifesavers is also helping to make traveling on America's roads safer than ever before. I can't thank them enough for their important work.