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U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater, CART's Bobby Rahal Extend Safety Partnership

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Rodney E. Slater, Bobby Rahal

U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater, CART's Bobby Rahal Extend Safety Partnership

NHTSA
July 28, 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 31-00
Friday, July 28, 2000
Contact: NHTSA, Rae Tyson, (202) 366-9550

CICERO, Ill.--U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater and Interim President and CEO CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) Bobby Rahal today announced that for the third year their organizations will join in partnership to deliver vital safety messages to the American public.

Secretary Slater and Rahal made the announcement jointly at the Chicago Motor Speedway, site of CART's Target Grand Prix on Sunday.

"We welcome the opportunity to extend this valuable and highly successful partnership with CART, " Secretary Slater said. "With CART's help, we are continuing to send important safety messages designed to save lives. After all, safety is President Clinton and Vice-President Gore's highest transportation priority."

As part of the cooperative effort, two CART/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) partners - Ford Racing and the Target Grand Prix at the Chicago Motor Speedway will distribute public service announcements (PSAs) about vehicle safety and the importance of seat belts. Ford both nationally and through Ford dealerships will distribute PSAs for use in local markets, and the Target Grand Prix at the Chicago Motor Speedway will distribute PSAs to local TV, radio and at trackside. One example of public service advertising is the donation of a new trackside "Buckle Up America!" sign, which an estimated 3 million fans will see.

Secretary Slater and Rahal were joined in making the announcement by Ford Racing Marketing Manager Sam Scott; Edward Duffy, CEO of the Chicago Speedway; and CART Champ car drivers Michael Andretti and Juan Montoya both of whom are featured in the PSAs.

"Racing is our business and safety is a significant part of everything we do," said Rahal. "There's no doubt safety is important on the race circuit, and it is equally important for drivers on the streets and highways of our country. We are pleased to be able to participate in this program with great partners like Ford Racing, Target and Energizer, to convey the message about safety to the American public."

The U.S. Department of Transportation's NHTSA makes a variety of safety information available to the public. Its latest vehicle safety information includes the Buying a Safer Car brochure, complete with 2000 crash test results and ratings, as well as Buying a Safer Car for Child Passengers, which features tips and information on safety features to protect children, safety seat compatibility and a convenient "Family Car Checklist" to use when shopping for a vehicle.

Also today NHTSA Deputy Administrator Rosalyn G. Millman presented the Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary (CARA) a Buckle Up America Champion award for its work and devotion in conducting the Buckle Up Baby campaign. The campaign provided about $500,000 to nearly 100 communities and hospitals worldwide to buy child safety seats for needy families.

"When it comes to helping parents place kids 12 and under in the back seat and in a proper restraint system, CARA is leading the pack," Millman said. "With their hard work and diligence, we are turning fatal crashes into survivable ones."

CART owns, operates and markets the FedEX Championship Series, which includes 20 races in five countries on four continents.

Safety information is available to the public free of charge from NHTSA through its Auto Safety Hotline, 1-888-DASH-2-DOT or by visiting NHTSA's web site, http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov./ CART's web site is: http://www.nhtsa.gov/exit.cfm?link=http://www.cart.com.

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