(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray was presented with a “2010 Safety Leadership” award from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. This award is for exemplary leadership on federal auto and highway safety legislation.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” said Senator Murray. “As our nation’s economy recovers and families begin to spend more time traveling, we must continue to work together to educate our children and others about the potentially fatal consequences of distracted driving, hold manufacturers accountable for the safety of their vehicles, and pursue a multifaceted campaign to prevent drunk driving.”

As chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for the Department of Transportation, Senator Murray has increased funding for lifesaving highway and auto safety programs.

“Today, we celebrate the past twenty years of enacting highway and auto safety legislation that has saved many thousands of lives,” said Judith Lee Stone, Advocates president. “But, we could not have passed these lifesaving measures without the dedication and tenacity of our legislative champions—they have made the nation’s roads safer for everyone who uses them, for generations to come.”

A report released earlier yesterday by Advocates shows that federal and state highway safety laws enacted over the past 20 years have saved over 85,000 lives and over $600 billion in costs. 

In recent years, an average of 5.8 million crashes has occurred on our nation’s highways each year resulting in almost 40,000 fatalities and 2.3 million injuries, at a cost to society of an estimated $230 billion per year. Every day 102 people are killed on America’s streets and highways, while more than 6,000 are injured, according to federal highway statistics.