Skip to content

Obama taps MADD CEO for NHTSA’s top post‏

April 9, 2009

Obama taps MADD CEO for NHTSA’s top post
The Trucker News Services


WASHINGTON – 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

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

“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.

Obama has now announced nominees for two of the three key Department of
Transportation agencies that deal with surface transportation.

Recently, the president revealed his intention to nominate Victor M.
Mendez as administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

Obama has yet to announce a nominee for administrator of the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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

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.

The Trucker staff can be contacted to comment on this article at

Obama chooses MADD official to lead safety agency

By KEN THOMAS – 1 day ago

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has chosen a top official with
Mothers Against Drunk Driving to lead a Transportation agency that
oversees safety and fuel efficiency requirements for automakers.

Chuck Hurley was nominated Wednesday to become administrator of the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Hurley, a longtime
safety advocate, has served as MADD’s chief executive officer since 2005
and worked for the National Safety Council and the Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety.

At MADD, Hurley urged states to adopt tougher drunken driving laws and
require first-time offenders to use ignition interlock devices on their
cars. The devices require drivers to blow into an instrument that
measures alcohol and prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver’s
blood alcohol concentration exceeds a certain level.

MADD, a nonprofit organization based in Irving, Texas, was founded in
1980 and was instrumental in pushing Congress to set aside federal
highway funds for anti-drunken driving efforts and to pass legislation
to raise the federal minimum drinking age to 21.

The organization has received funding from several auto companies,
including General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. and
others. The General Motors Foundation provided MADD and MADD-related
programs with $133,000 in grants in 2007, according to financial records
filed with the IRS.

Obama worked with Hurley as a state senator in Illinois to strengthen
the state’s auto safety laws, the White House said.

Vernon Betkey, chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association,
said Hurley was a “passionate safety advocate whose career has been
dedicated to reducing motor vehicle deaths and injuries.”

Copyright C 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: