Apr 09, 2009 Charles A. Hurley, CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is President Obama's nominee to be administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation. The White House announced the choice Wednesday afternoon.
Hurley has been MADD's CEO since 2005 and previously held senior leadership positions with the National Safety Council and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, according to the White House, which said in its announcement that, besides his work to prevent drunk driving, Hurley "has worked extensively with law enforcement on air bag and seat belt issues, teen driving, and child passenger safety" and worked with Obama, when the latter was a state senator in Illinois, "on his successful efforts in 2003 to strengthen Illinois' seat belt, teen driving, child passenger safety, and racial profiling laws."
NHTSA and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood released data this week showing U.S. road deaths in 2008 were the lowest since 1961, with an estimated 37,313 people dying in motor vehicle crashes during 2008 and seat belt use continuing to increase. NHTSA said the nation achieved in 2008 the lowest motor vehicle fatality rate, 1.28 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, ever recorded by the agency. The rate was 1.36 in 2007. The National Safety Council had reported Feb. 4 that it recorded 39,800 motor vehicle-related deaths in 2008 and an estimated annual death rate for the year of 1.38 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles. NSC, which says it uses a slightly different data gathering method than NHTSAâ€™s, said 1.38 is the lowest annual death rate it has calculated since it began publishing its annual Injury Facts statistical report in the 1920s.