Obama taps MADD CEO for NHTSA's top post
President Barack Obama said today he would nominate the CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) as the next administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Charles A. Hurley has headed MADD since 2005 and previously held senior leadership positions with the National Safety Council and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety during his 30-year professional career.
In addition to his work on drunk driving issues, the White House said Hurley had worked extensively with law enforcement on air bag and seat belt issues, teen driving and child passenger safety.
The White House said Hurley worked with Illinois State Senator Obama on Obama's successful efforts in 2003 to strengthen Illinois' seat belt, teen driving, child passenger safety and racial profiling laws.
Prior to his career in highway safety, Hurley worked for a governor, a state speaker, mayor and member of Congress and was a naval intelligence officer.
Reaction to Obama's announcement was swift.
"The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is delighted with President Obama's excellent choice of Hurley to lead NHTSA," Vernon F. Betkey Jr., GHSA chairman, said in a news release. "He is a passionate safety advocate whose career has been dedicated to reducing motor vehicle deaths and injuries on the highways. GHSA has worked closely with him for the last 20 years, during his time at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, National Safety Council and more recently at MADD."
Betkey said that during the past two years, GHSA had worked together on MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, an effort that the chairman said had translated into stronger state ignition interlock laws and a renewed nationwide commitment to end the preventable tragedies of drunk driving.
"Last month, GHSA announced our ambitious 'Toward Zero Deaths: Every Life Counts' initiative to end traffic fatalities. In order to achieve such an aggressive goal, strong national leadership is needed from the White House and NHTSA," Betkey said. "By nominating Hurley, President Obama has demonstrated his administration's strong commitment to rid our nation of the tragic 40,000 deaths each year on our roadways."
GHSA urged the Senate to quickly confirm Chuck's nomination.
Hurley joined MADD after serving as the vice president of the Transportation Safety Group for the National Safety Council.
In that role, he led the Council's efforts in highway safety, truck safety and other activities, a news release on MADD's Web site announcing Hurley's appointment to the CEO post said.
At the time, Hurley was also serving as the executive director of the Council's acclaimed Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign.
In 2004, Hurley received the prestigious J. Stannard Baker Award for Highway Safety from the International Association of Chiefs of Police for his "lifetime commitment and outstanding contribution to highway safety."
According to the news release, Hurley had played an important role in the organization's history.
The release said Hurley attended MADD's first national press conference in October 1980 in Washington, D.C., and helped MADD win support for the Presidential Commission on Drunk Driving. He also worked for and strongly supported MADD's efforts to pass the National 21 Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. From 1993 to 1998, Hurley served on the MADD National Board of Directors.
Source: The Trucker News Services - April 08,2009