Maryland Highway Safety Office
The Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) is a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA).
MDOT MVA MHSO is dedicated to saving lives and preventing injuries by reducing motor vehicle crashes through the administration of a comprehensive network of traffic safety programs.
MDOT MVA MHSO endeavors to provide expert highway safety leadership through quality programs, ethical grants management, professional and accountable staff, and exemplary customer service.
Highway Safety Office Leadership
Christine Nizer, Administrator of the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration, Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative
Christine Nizer was appointed Administrator of the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative by Secretary Pete Rahn in August 2015. Prior to that appointment, Ms. Nizer served as the MVA’s Chief Deputy Administrator and Deputy Administration for Central Operations and Safety Programs for over eight years. She also held management positions at the Maryland Public Service Commission, the Maryland General Assembly and the Office of Homeland Security.
Ms. Nizer is a Member of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) International Board of Directors, an AAMVA Region 1 Board Member, and a Member of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety. She is a 2011 graduate of the Leadership Maryland Program and was named Woman of the Year in 2014 by the Women in Transportation Seminar Baltimore Chapter.
Ms. Nizer earned a Master of Science degree in Public Policy from the Eagleton Institute of Rutgers University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Goucher College.
Dr. Timothy Kerns, Director, Maryland Highway Safety Office
Timothy (Tim) Kerns, Ph.D. is the Director of MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office. He previously spent 29 years as a research associate/epidemiologist with the University of Maryland’s National Study Center for Trauma and EMS (NSC). While at the NSC, he helped to develop and monitor Maryland’s Occupant Protection Survey and served as program manager for the development of the State’s Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES) and the Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN). He has served on a variety of highway safety program assessments covering areas such as traffic records, occupant protection, and pedestrian/bicycle safety.
Dr. Kerns has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education and the Maryland Division of the American Trauma Society and is past President of the Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP).
Dr. Kerns received a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science from The Johns Hopkins University, a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology and Emergency Health Services from the University of Maryland, and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Maryland Baltimore.
Myra Wieman, Deputy Director, Maryland Highway Safety Office
Myra Wieman became Deputy Director for the Maryland Highway Safety Office in 2019. Prior to this position, Ms. Wieman worked in the private industry for 34 years. Throughout her career she served as a traffic safety program manager, overseeing field staff in four states and the District of Columbia. She was responsible for creating curriculum and research-based presentations. Ms. Wieman also served as their public and government affairs manager, responsible for MD media communications, on-air interviews, and testifying before the Maryland General Assembly on bills related to driver safety.
Ms. Wieman is a certified child passenger safety technician and CarFit instructor. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Akron.
Law Enforcement Services
The Law Enforcement Services Section works directly with the police community across Maryland to increase and maintain support for highway safety and to assist in managing law-enforcement-related highway safety grants. This section includes four Law Enforcement Liaisons (LELs) and a Law Enforcement Program Manager, led by John Hipps.
Partnerships, Resources, and Outreach (PRO) Section
The Partnerships, Resources, and Outreach (PRO) Section includes four Outreach Program Managers. This team has responsibility for engaging local highway safety partners and furthering the implementation of local Strategic Highway Safety Plans. The staff manages outreach programs for large employers, military installations, schools and universities, and younger and older drivers. This section is led by Christina Utz.
Safety Programs Section
The Safety Programs is led by Tim Richards and is comprised of four Program Managers who specialize in Occupant Protection/Distracted Driving Prevention, Impaired Driving Prevention, Aggressive Driving Prevention/Motorcycle Safety, and Pedestrian/Bicyclist Safety. This section also includes a Traffic Records Program Manager, who oversees the State Traffic Records Coordinating Committee (TRCC).
Mary Harmon leads the Finance Section which manages financial operations and grants administration for MHSO. The section has a grant specialist supervisor, two grants managers, two finance managers, and a data processing quality assurance specialist.
The Communications Manager establishes the strategic direction for MHSO communication efforts, including education/media campaigns, correspondence, and social media platforms.
All media inquiries for MHSO should be directed to Whitney Nichels, MDOT MVA Media Manager.