Davis will oversee and coordinate all of the institute’s initiatives, said Don Bower, a UGA Extension Service human development specialist. Bower serves as project director and liaison between the institute and the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.Davis will coordinate trainings onsite and around the state, a comprehensive resource center, two demonstration projects in rural counties and a special initiative to help parents better prepare their teens to be safer drivers. By Janet RodekohrUniversity of GeorgiaThe University of Georgia’s Traffic Injury Prevention Institute was awarded a $1 million grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to continue its education and training program in the use of safety belts and child safety seats. UGA also announced the appointment of Steven V. Davis as director of the institute, effective Nov. 15. Strong new director”Mr. Davis brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in law enforcement, project management and safety education and a network of colleagues statewide,” Bower said.Davis was chief of police in Blairsville since 1999. He was also in the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety as project director of a federal highway safety grant from 1998 to 2001 and was a law enforcement specialist with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 1996 to 1998.The institute was established to help reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities statewide. The $1 million grant is the largest in the 18-year history of the partnership between UGA and the GOHS. It was awarded Oct. 1.Leading killer of childrenCar crashes are the leading killer of children and young adults. Vehicle crashes cost society more than $150 billion annually, according to the GOHS.”This program is the primary resource in the state for public information and professional training on the use of safety belts and child safety seats,” Bower said.The program reaches virtually every Georgian with media information encouraging the correct and consistent use of these safety devices.In 2001, educators in the program conducted 280 safety seat checks and provided more than 18,000 hours of training, helping increase Georgians’ safety-seat use by 85 percent.