FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA Media Relations|
MVA Wins Several Awards from the American Association Of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Maryland’s Highway Safety and Promotional Efforts Win Accolades
GLEN BURNIE, MD (August 29, 2013) - John T. Kuo, Administrator of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and Governor Martin O’Malley’s Highway Safety Representative, has been honored with the Martha Irwin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Highway Safety from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). The safety award is presented to an individual who has distinguished himself in highway and traffic safety efforts. The award was presented to Administrator Kuo at the AAMVA’s International Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“I am humbled to be acknowledged by my AAMVA colleagues,” said Administrator Kuo. “I have dedicated my life to saving lives on Maryland’s roadways. It is an honor to receive the Martha Irwin Award for Safety which is a credit to my fantastic management team and staff.”
Administrator Kuo was appointed to head the MVA in 2006 and immediately established a driver safety division. Because of the nature of the motor vehicle business, the tendency was to focus on customer service but Administrator Kuo felt it was important to also emphasize driver and vehicle safety. The youngest of three siblings, Kuo’s brother and sister perished in an automobile crash when they were in college. The tragedy has fueled his highway safety efforts. In 2011, Administrator Kuo became the first MVA Administrator in Maryland to ever serve as the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative and one of only 3 motor vehicle executives throughout the country to serve in this capacity.
His focus and leadership has resulted in numerous highway safety improvements, including a ban on texting and hand held cell phone use while driving, the requirement that every person in a vehicle in Maryland wear a seatbelt, and numerous enhancements to the driver education process. From updated curriculums and training standards for driver education instructors to more vigorous skills testing for new drivers, Kuo has pursued his goal of safety first on the roadways of Maryland. Administrator Kuo has also overseen Maryland's ignition interlock program which now has the most number of ignition interlock devices per capita on the East Coast, from 5,500 in 2008 to 11,000 in 2013. Administrator Kuo continues to look for creative solutions to eliminate highway injuries and fatalities.
The MVA also won an International Public Affairs and Consumer Education (PACE) Award from the AAMVA for innovative and effective motor vehicle and highway safety marketing efforts. The MVA’s gigantic crash dummy, located on the front lawn of its headquarters building in Glen Burnie, won the 2013 International PACE award for the best graphic design, which encompasses all displays, illustrations, photos and logo work in the U.S. and Canada.
The MVA’s 30 foot fiberglass crash dummy was produced as the largest in the world and serves as a landmark to remind one and all to buckle up, the most effective way to protect oneself from serious injury in a crash. The PACE International Awards were also presented in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Along with the International Award for the best graphic image, the MVA also won a Regional PACE Award and an Honorable Mention from the AAMVA for a news release and video. The MVA’s winning press release, Mobile App Offered for Maryland Driving Test, was issued in November 2012 to generate interest in a new mobile app and was carried widely by a variety of news outlets. It was evaluated on content and clarity and won for the best news release or media advisory by an agency in AAMVA’s Region I, from Prince Edward Island, Canada, all the New England and Mid Atlantic states and Washington, D.C.
The AAMVA’s PACE Award program received over 100 entries from the U.S. and Canada according to Claire O’Brien, the AAMVA’s marketing coordinator. The AAMVA “felt that entries deserved to be recognized, even if they didn’t take home an award.” The MVA won an honorable mention for the Maryland's Toward Zero Deaths Video, which became the outreach mechanism for all Maryland safety partners through the leadership of Administrator Kuo and the support of Governor O'Malley. The video was launched statewide on August 1, 2012 because the month of August has historically seen the highest number of highway fatalities and was officially declared Towards Zero Deaths Month in Maryland by Governor O’Malley.
The Regional PACE Award and Honorable Mention were presented to the MVA on July 18 at the AAMVA’s 2013 Region I Conference in Dover, Delaware.