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US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

International Award, 2007

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) an agency of the US Department of Transportation, is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA sets and enforces safety performance standards for motor vehicles and equipment, carries out research on driver behaviour and helps state and local governments to conduct effective local highway safety programmes.

Last year the number of people who died on the roads in the USA fell to the lowest highway fatality rate ever recorded and the largest drop in total deaths in 15 years.

An impressive example of NHTSA’s work is the success in raising seat belt use in the USA. NHTSA has been the federal partner of the Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign, a multi-sector coalition launched in 1996 by the National Safety Council. As a result of the campaign’s influence, 82 percent of adults in the USA today now wear seat belts compared to 61 percent 10 years ago, and more than 90 percent of children age 1 to 3 are now properly restrained, up from 60 percent in 1996. The increased use of child restraints and seat belts that occurred over the past 10 years is estimated to have saved more than 20,000 lives.

NHTSA also plays a leading role in global road safety. The agency is actively engaged in the work of, intern alia, the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Transport Forum of the European Council of Ministers of Transport, the Asia Pacific Economic Community to promote international collaboration in traffic safety and vehicle standards. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/site/ nhtsa/menuitem.9fa154a4d39f02e770f6df1020008a0c