Zero Hour for a New Safety Vision
By Seth Maiman
They say the third time is the charm. For the third consecutive year, the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) has served as a Highway Safety Champion, this time at the 2023 annual meeting of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The event, attended by approximately 800 safety professionals from across the country, was held Aug. 13-16 in New York City. The 2023 meeting theme was “Connecting Communities: Putting Vision Zero into Action.” Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for all.
AGSC has been working with GHSA for the last several years to increase awareness and public policy initiatives promoting auto glass safety. GHSA represents the state and territorial highway safety offices that implement federal grant programs to address behavioral highway safety issues. Highway safety officials from every state and numerous
non-profit leaders and insurance executives attend the meeting.
GHSA’s vision is to lead states and territories toward zero deaths on the nation’s roadways through leadership, partnerships and advocacy, and presents a strong fit with the AGSC’s stated mission of promoting awareness of the AGRSS™ and ROLAGS™ safety standards to the insurance industry and the driving public at large.
AGSC president Mike Schenian, vice president Peter Brown and I attended the conference on behalf of AGSC. We spent the week attending seminars and workshops to learn about the latest best practices in auto and road safety, examine future technologies, network and
partner with other safety professionals, and promote awareness of AGRSS and ROLAGS.
Coming Down the Pike
Schenian attended the conference for the second time. “I was impressed by the information we gleaned about new technologies that will help us move toward Vision Zero,” he says.
At the “Innovation in Automation: Alerts, Enforcement and Mobility” workshop, a panelist from Qualcomm showed how technology will soon allow drivers to “see” pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter riders approaching an intersection—otherwise hidden behind
buildings, other cars or objects—on their navigation screens and thus potentially avoid a catastrophic collision. Who could have imagined that when they were learning to drive?
The conference featured speakers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, state traffic safety offices and a variety of nonprofit advocacy groups such as the National Center for Rural Road Safety and Families for Safe Streets.
Even among these leaders, there is still a rudimentary understanding of the role that auto glass plays in safety. There is also scant knowledge of the imperative to expertly recalibrate the camera after a windshield replacement to ensure proper functioning of ADAS safety features. So, while we learn a lot at these meetings, we are also educating about
auto glass safety.
The AGSC representatives said they hope to bring some of their new knowledge and ideas with them when they meet with their industry peers at Auto Glass Week™ in Virginia Beach, Va., in September. AGSC will continue to work with GHSA on initiatives throughout the year and look forward to the next GHSA annual meeting to be held in September 2024 in Indianapolis.
Seth Maiman is the director of public affairs for the Auto Glass Safety Council.
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