FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Secretary’s Office
Secretary Swaim-Staley Designates MVA Administrator John Kuo As Maryland’s Highway Safety Represenative
HANOVER, MD -- Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley today announced that John T. Kuo has been named to serve as Governor Martin O’Malley’s Highway Safety Representative. Mr. Kuo has served as Administrator of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) since 2006 and will continue in that role. As the Highway Safety Representative, he will coordinate the State’s highway safety efforts with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), the MVA and the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHOS). Mr. Kuo assumes the role from former SHA administrator Neil J. Pedersen, who recently retired.
“John Kuo has long been a leader in the area of driver safety,” said Secretary Swaim-Staley. “He possesses the focus and the skills that we need to lead our relentless pursuit to reduce the number of highway related deaths in Maryland. Under John’s leadership, we will enhance our efforts to utilize a performance based, results oriented approach to safety.”
As the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, Mr. Kuo will serve as the liaison between Governor O’Malley and the highway safety community. He also will provide leadership to the MHSO and its safety programs. The mission of the MHSO is to save lives and prevent injuries by reducing the number and severity of motor-vehicle crashes through a comprehensive and effective network of traffic safety programs. With the designation of Mr. Kuo as the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, MHSO will transition from a division within SHA to one within MVA.
“I look forward to the continued partnership between SHA and the MVA,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary and Acting SHA Administrator Darrell Mobley. “Together, we will continue to identify and apply the best solutions in our quest to make Maryland roads as safe as possible.”
Mr. Kuo became administrator at the MVA in 2006 after serving in various executive leadership roles including Chief Deputy Administrator with the MVA for 11 years. Throughout his tenure at the MVA, he has been instrumental in the development of MVA’s comprehensive approach to enhance driver safety, including changes to policies, procedures, laws and regulations.
“We intend to focus the combined resources of SHA, MVA and the team within the Maryland Highway Safety Office on those areas where the data indicate the problem is the greatest,” said Mr. Kuo. “Over the past several years, the MVA has worked to enhance highway safety by improving the way we teach and test new drivers. We also have reinforced the graduated driver licensing system and helped strengthen ignition interlock laws. Working collaboratively with our partners in the safety community, our goal will be to continue to improve safety and dramatically reduce highway fatalities across the state.”
In recent years, the statewide collaboration among safety advocates and law enforcement has produced a decline in traffic related fatalities across the state. In 2010, there were 496 traffic fatalities in Maryland, the lowest number in at least 40 years.
As a resident of Montgomery County for the past 40 years, Mr. Kuo understands the growing congestion and related highway safety issues of the region and state including aggressive driving. He began his public service career in 1982 with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. He has also served as the Director of Procurement and Chief of Contract Administration for the Maryland Port Administration, Port of Baltimore. Mr. Kuo is also a recognized leader within the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) having just served as President of AAMVA Region I and is currently serving as Board Director on AAMVA’s International Board.