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David P.
Democrat NC 4

About Rep. David
  • Honoring 50 Years of Unc Highway Safety Research Center Efforts to Improve Safety

    by Representative David E. Price

    Posted on 2015-12-11

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    PRICE of north carolina in the house of representatives Friday, December 11, 2015 Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the 50th anniversary of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center. The Center's mission is to improve the safety, security, access and efficiency of all surface transportation modes by conducting interdisciplinary research and disseminating information. Located on the UNC campus at Chapel Hill, which is in my district, the Center is overseen by the Vice President for Research for the North Carolina University System and the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

    The UNC Highway Safety Research Center was formed by the North Carolina State Legislature in 1965 at a time when the public was calling for enhanced highway and vehicle safety and injury prevention. Established during former Governor Dan K. Moore's tenure, the Center began operations in 1966 under the direction of Dr. B.J. Campbell. I'd like to recognize the Center's current leadership, including David Harkey, Director of the Highway Safety Research Center; Lauren Marchetti, Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School; Charles Zegeer, Director of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center; and Robert Foss, Director of the Center for the Study of Young Drivers.

    The Center's cross-discipline research--from social and behavioral sciences to engineering and planning--addresses the diverse challenges we face in building safer roads and highways. Research topics include animal-vehicle crash information, bicycle & pedestrian safety and access, child passenger safety, distracted and drowsy driving, motorcycle safety, occupant protection, the safety of older and younger drivers, school travel, traffic operations, and roadway design.

    Over its 50-year history, the Center has worked with various partner agencies in North Carolina on identifying road safety challenges, developing and implementing strategies, and evaluating the effectiveness of programs and interventions. Partners in North Carolina include the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the Governor's Highway Safety Program, the State Highway Patrol, and many others. In recent years, the Center worked closely with NCDOT to train State professionals on the concept of complete streets, develop and implement the `Watch for Me' pedestrian and bicycle safety program, and develop the 2014 Strategic Highway Safety Plan.

    The nationally renowned investigators at the center have also translated their results into programs and policies that have been implemented in North Carolina, saving countless lives and injuries. The Center's staff has also trained thousands of safety professionals, and have served as a resource for the public and the media on how to communicate safety messages and provide an impartial voice on timely road safety topics.

    For 50 years, the Highway Safety Research Center has been a leading research institute that has helped shape the field of transportation safety. We are fortunate that this world-class highway safety research center calls North Carolina home. Again, I want to congratulate the Center on celebrating 50 years of service to the cause of highway safety and road users everywhere. I look forward to their continued work over the coming decades.


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