SECRETARY SLATER REMINDS CHILDREN ABOUT SAFETY ON WAY TO, FROM SCHOOL
Topics: Rodney E. Slater
September 12, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 12, 2000
Contact: NHTSA, Faithia Robertson, (202) 366-9550
SILVER SPRING, Md.-With the new school year underway, U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today reminded students, parents, and teachers at Sligo Creek Elementary School in Silver Spring to use caution on the way to and from school and told them of the five dangers that kids face and the top ten steps they can take to help keep safe.
"Safety is everyone's responsibility, and nowhere is that more true than on the way to and from school," Secretary Slater said. "Following the rules of the road, including using seat belts and wearing bicycle helmets, is most important in reducing risk and improving safety, which is President Clinton and Vice President Gore's highest transportation priority."
Secretary Slater noted that use of child safety seats is at an all time high, and that the nation is making progress in reducing the number of child fatalities. The nation met President Clinton's goal of reducing fatalities among children five and under by 15 percent, a year ahead of the President's target date. Fatalities in this group decreased from 652 in 1996 to 555 in 1999. The goal was set in 1997 and met in 1999.
"The most dangerous place we take our children is on America's highways," said National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Jim Hall. "There are things that we can do today to make children safer when they ride in automobiles, including using restraints that are designed for children, not adults, and making sure all children ride in the back seat of the car."
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has dedicated more than $30 million over the past six years in highway safety programs for children, youth and young adults. Secretary Slater promised to continue this commitment through USDOT's program, Protecting America's Most Precious Resource: the Traffic Safety Agenda for Children, Youth and Young Adults.
Secretary Slater said that there is still a great deal more to do to safeguard the welfare of children as they use the nation's transportation system. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for school-age children and all Americans up to age 29.
"Normal morning and afternoon school transportation hours are the most dangerous times of day for child transportation. We can prevent many of these deaths and injuries using the top 10 steps we released today" said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Rosalyn G. Millman.
Secretary Slater explained that the five key dangers that kids face are:
Secretary Slater also outlined the top 10 ways parents and caregivers can help keep children safe:
At one of the four safety stations outside the Silver Spring elementary school, Secretary Slater demonstrated school bus safety techniques with the students. At other safety stations at the school, other groups demonstrated bike and pedestrian safety and booster seat and seat belt safety.
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