Leaders in Traffic Safety Convene in Denver April 14-16

April 10, 2013 - Traffic Safety - Lifesavers Annual Conference to address cutting-edge programs, new research and hot topics as the nation’s roadway deaths increased 5% in 2012.

STATEWIDE— For the first time in seven years, U.S. motor vehicle fatalities increased last year claiming the lives of 36,200 people.  This uptick in roadway deaths will be front and center for the more than 1,200 national, state and local traffic safety, public health and law enforcement officials, first responders, advocates, and researchers who will convene in Denver April 14-16 for the 31st annual Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities.  With over 80 workshops addressing all aspects of traffic safety, Lifesavers Conference participants will discuss how to get that number once again moving in the right direction.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will host this year’s conference at the Denver Convention Center.  Experts will discuss initiatives to make the nation’s roadways safer by focusing on distracted and impaired driving; child passenger, pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle, and teen and older driver safety; adult occupant protection; roadway safety; and engineering.

“CDOT is honored to host Lifesavers in Denver,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT.  “It’s a chance to hear from the experts who are working to improve safety for all roadway users.  They’ll share best practices and discuss strategies for developing and implementing safety programs and policy to address motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of death for children, teens and adults to age 34.”

Hot workshop topics include:

  • Medical and "legal" marijuana: Investigation, toxicology and trial tactics (April 16, 10:45 am–12:15 pm)
  • Emerging vehicle trends: The future is now (driverless cars, vehicle-to-vehicle technology)(April 15, 9:00–10:30 am)
  • A teen's perspective on distracted driving and effective communication efforts to reach teens(April 15, 2:15–3:45 pm)
  • Medical fitness to drive (older drivers) (April 15, 10:45 am–12:15 pm)
  • Technology’s impact on reducing teen crashes (April 16, 10:45 am–12:15 pm)
  • Impact of laws on safety for pedestrians and bicyclists (April 14, 10:30 am–12:00 pm)
  • What’s new in child passenger safety research (April 15, 2:15-3:45 pm; April 16, 9-10:30 am)
  • Reducing traffic fatalities in tribal communities: A success story (April 14, 1:30–3:00 pm)
  • Ignition interlock update (April 14, 1:30–3:00 pm)
  • Designer drugs, what's out there and what law enforcement can expect to see (April 14, 1:30–3:00 pm)
  • Technologies to increase seat belt use (April 15, 9:00–10:30 am)
  • Distracted driving case analysis: Effective police investigation through courtroom presentation(April 15, 10:45 am–12:15 pm)
  • High in plain sight: Physical, visual and verbal identifiers for the possible drugged driver (April 15, 9:00–10:30 am)
  • Coaching parents through their teen’s most dangerous driving years (April 15, 9:00–10:30 am)
  • Life beyond driving (Older drivers) (April 16, 9:00–10:30 am)

During the opening plenary session on Sunday morning, April 14, the soon to be released documentary, IMPACT: AFTER THE CRASH (http://www.theimpactmovie.com/), will be previewed.  The film chronicles the 1988 Carrollton, Kentucky bus crash, the nation’s deadliest drunk driving-related incident, which claimed the lives of 27 youth and adults.  Karolyn Nunnallee, the mother of the youngest crash victim, will speak about the crash and its impact on school bus safety and impaired driving advocacy over the past 25 years.

Lifesavers Conference participants will also be invited to participate in a Long Short Walk around the Denver Convention Center on Monday, April 15 at 4:30 pm.  Developed by the Nelson Mandela family, the initiative calls attention to United Nations’ Global Road Safety Week (May 6-12), which in 2013 is dedicated to pedestrian safety, a major issue around the world.

Interviews with speakers are available upon request.  For more information about the Lifesavers Conference, visit http://lifesaversconference.org/.

** Carrollton, Kentucky Bus Crash Backgrounder Attached**