Durham, NC (September 1, 2015)—Two research scientists from innovation Research & Training (iRT)— a leading behavior science research organization—are attending the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) annual meeting, Drunk, Drugged & Distracted: Reaching High-Risk Drivers, hosted by the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office.

iRT President and Senior Research Scientist Dr. Janis Kupersmidt and iRT Research Scientist Dr. Rebecca Stelter are among the more than 500 state highway safety officials collaborating on improving traffic safety towards a zero deaths goal on America’s highways.

The three-day conference features keynote presentations by a number of influential national highway safety officials appointed by President Obama. In addition, delegates will participate in an informal discussion on drug-impaired driving trends and approaches. Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann will round out the meeting with a discussion on change management and overcoming adversity.

The conference comes as many states report an increase in traffic fatalities, after years of record lows. General sessions will address how to curb the most dangerous driver behaviors, with a focus on alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers and driver distraction as well as approaches to pedestrian safety, drowsy driving, strategic communications, and more.

Earlier this year, iRT announced the award of a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to develop a website to house resources on the growing public health problem of drunk driving. iRt will complete development of a Drugged Driving Resources website. The website will offer a comprehensive data collecting system and products to assist an array of stakeholders in locating research, selecting prevention and treatment programs, reviewing drugged driving laws and policies, and receiving training on the topic of drugged driving.

“Reducing drunk driving has long been a focus of highway safety initiatives,” said Dr. Kupersmidt. “Our goal is to ensure that we are part of the national dialogue on educating the public on drugged driving prevention efforts and increasing public awareness of drugged driving.”

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans.

About innovation Research & Training

innovation Research & Training (iRT) is a behavioral sciences research company committed to identifying and solving significant real-world problems facing children, families, communities, and organizations. By using evidence-based and culturally sensitive methods, iRT researchers investigate, develop, and evaluate behavioral, educational, psychological, social, and community assessment, prevention and treatment programs and services. iRT’s staff includes experts in basic and applied research in a variety of areas, including substance abuse prevention and treatment, youth mentoring, social and emotional development, mindfulness education, media literacy education, pregnancy prevention and sexual health, child and adolescent mental health, adult and juvenile justice programs, drug courts, drugged driving, tobacco use and underage drinking.  For more information about iRT, visit www.irtinc.us.

Media Contact: 

Yvette Ruffin, APR

Director, Marketing and Communications

innovation Research & Training