Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety presented U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar with the 2010 Highway Safety Leader Award for her commitment and contributions to advancing highway and auto safety.

“We need to create a culture of safety for young drivers,” said Klobuchar. “Taking steps to remove dangerous distractions and help drivers mature while gaining experience will make the roads safer for all drivers.  Receiving this award is an honor and I will continue my work to keep our roads safe.

In her remarks Judith Lee Stone, Advocates president, praised the work of the honorees.

“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,” said Stone.

During her eight years as Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar made driver safety one of her top priorities. Last month, Klobuchar and Senators Gillibrand (D-NY) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) introduced the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STAND UP) Act.  The bill will establish national standards for all states to implement Graduated Drivers License (GDL) programs that help teens become safe, responsible drivers.

Additionally, Klobuchar is a cosponsor of both the Distracted Driving Prevention Act of 2009 and the Avoiding Life-Endangering and Reckless Texting by Drivers Act” (ALERT Drivers Act).

Klobuchar is also a cosponsor of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010.  The legislation will improve vehicle safety standards to better protect drivers, make vehicle safety information more accessible to consumers, and provide the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with the necessary resources and authority to address vehicle safety defects in the future. The bill follows a series of Toyota recalls that highlighted weaknesses in the government’s vehicle safety monitoring system.

A report released earlier today by Advocates showing 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.