During my years as Governor's Representative for Highway Safety and Director of Governor's Highway Safety Program, the UNC Highway Safety Research Center was an indispensable partner in improving North Carolina's approach to highway safety on a number of fronts.
HSRC provided research, documents to back up its research and expert testimony that were key to bringing about almost every new initiative with which I was involved.
HSRC was a key component of the team which introduced the "Click It or Ticket" seat belt program to North Carolina. Our model developed into a national program which has saved thousands of lives and reduced the severity of innumerable disabling injuries.
This same teamwork with HSRC was crucial to success of our "Booze It and Lose It" program, instituting Graduated Licensing; strengthening DWI, child safety and occupant restraint statutes and defending the motorcycle helmet law.
Joe Parker, Former Director
NC Governor's Highway Safety Program
The UNC Highway Safety Research Center is an invaluable resource for data and information related to highway safety in NC. This nationally recognized agency provides resources such as websites and reports that have a profound impact on our ability to improve the safety of adult and child passengers in our state. Without HSRC, the Buckle Up Kids and Safe Kids NC programs would not be able to substantiate our success in child passenger safety efforts.
Director, Safe Kids North Carolina
The UNC Highway Safety Research Center was a huge asset to the City of Hendersonville and our citizens in founding and overseeing the Walk Wise, Drive Smart pedestrian safety and education program. The staff at HSRC worked closely with our residents to develop designated safe walking routes in the City. They worked closely with City staff to prioritize infrastructure improvements and they coordinated activities with other community organizations to help improve the environment for pedestrians. Given Hendersonville's large proportion of older residents, the effort to improve safety for pedestrians serves not only the interests of public safety, but also public health. We are grateful to have partnered with HSRC and our community will enjoy lasting benefits from their efforts.
W. Bowman Ferguson
City Manager, City of Hendersonville
I am writing this letter to voice my support for the work done at the Highway Safety Research Center. Even though traffic fatalities and the fatality rate per hundred million vehicle miles has declined over the last year, 1,406 citizens lost their lives in North Carolina traffic crashes. This means about 4 North Carolinians per day died simply trying to get to or from work or school, running errands or trying to go somewhere for leisure activities. On the National level, traffic crashes killed 102 people each day.
It is important that local state and national efforts to reduce traffic deaths be grounded in science. Since its inception HSRC has brought a rigorous, multi-disciplinary approach to studying traffic crashes. Information of this nature that is invaluable in formulating effective public policy.
While the research conducted and published by HSRC has been helpful to transportation professional across the nation, the HSRC staff has been helpful to local and state efforts too. It was the HSRC that helped Winston-Salem and other cities gain access the computerized crash records they needed to implement local safety efforts. Their staff has worked with law enforcement agencies on crash investigation and the importance of accurately completing crash reports. They have served as instructors at workshops for local and state engineers and planners and been involved in a number of other efforts that have benefited North Carolina and its municipalities.
North Carolina is fortunate to have a world class research program to help formulate ways to reduce the human and economic costs imposed by traffic crashes. However,they are more fortunate that it is staffed by people who will also lend a hand to help solve and local safety problems.
Director of Transportation, City of Winston-Salem
The Highway Safety Research Center is an invaluable resource for analyzing the behavior of motorists, the effects of technology on highway users and developing factual anatomies that help the public, legislative bodies and the media dissect the true meaning of traffic crashes. Their insightful research has been the statistical underpinning for many laws across the U.S., and in North Carolina, helped us become a leader in reducing teen driving deaths by providing the critical studies that lead to our nationally respected Graduated Driving License law.
Tom Crosby, President
AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety
I have worked with many excellent research staff from the Highway Safety Research Center for over 25 years. In my work related to development of the state's trauma system, as well as in my more recent, focused, work in injury in the NC Division of Public Health, the center has been instrumental in a number of ways. For example, they have offered strong leadership in traffic records committee work to improve the quality of traffic data in NC and to facilitate the use of this data. The center has also developed a useful website and excellent web-based system to allow us to query crash data on our own. In addition, the HSRC has consistently provided invaluable technical assistance. Most recently this has involved pedestrian safety issues (with respect to pointing us to helpful subject documents and contact sources) and motor vehicle safety inspections. The research and recommendations they provided in connection with reducing motor vehicle related injuries in adolescents was extremely valuable in developing policy priorities. We have also appreciated staff input on an older driver safety project we are working on together.
Sharon Rhyne, MHA, MBA
Health Promotion Manager, Chronic Disease and Injury Section
NC Division of Public Health