KSU professor working to curb the number of traffic accidents in Georgia

Georgia (Jan 1, 2007) — Kennesaw State University is working to curb the number of Georgia traffic accidents — the leading cause of death for Hispanics under the age of 34‚ according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A $52‚100 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) has been awarded to Alan LeBaron‚ a distinguished service professor at KSU who is heading up an effort to promote highway safety among Hispanics‚ the fastest growing population in the nation. Georgia’s Hispanic population now exceeds 600‚000‚ according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“I believe that we can do more to make the roads safer‚” said LeBaron. “That is why the A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service and I have been working together to identify highway safety problems and develop solutions that are non−political and culturally sensitive.”

The grant will help fund DUI education programs for Hispanics in Cobb and Cherokee counties in addition to supporting the dissemination of educational materials‚ which will be handed out at venues where alcohol is served‚ as well as at local churches‚ events and festivals.

“Our goal is to reduce the risk of traffic accidents and injuries by providing education on traffic laws and the rules of the road to individuals who may not be accustomed to driving in the United States‚” said LeBaron.

Efforts to reduce the risk of traffic accidents has already proven successful‚ as noted by the GOHS‚ which named LeBaron “Rookie of the Year” for his DUI education program. Since 2004‚ he has been awarded $141‚000 in grants in support of highway safety programs targeting Hispanics. LeBaron uses his extensive background in Central and South American history and his experience working with the Guatemalan Maya in northwest Georgia to maintain a program that is culturally relevant.

“Last year we reached approximately 2‚000 Hispanics‚” said LeBaron. “This year‚ our goal is to reach 5‚000.”

LeBaron has been a professor at KSU since 1991‚ and he plans to publish his research findings to encourage others to develop similar programs.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu