The National Safety Commission Alerts

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Walk for Child Passenger Safety

AAA Strollerthon Walkers Raise Money, Awareness for Child Safety Seats While Earning Chance To Win iPod Video And $100 Worth of Downloads

This year, the many hundreds of Dearborn, Michigan area walkers who participated in the 3rd Annual AAA Strollerthon on July 15 have an extra incentive: contestants are entered in a drawing to win one of seven grand prizes* — including an Apple iPod Video 30g video/music player that can hold 7,500 songs, plus $100 gift certificates to be used to purchase and download music on Apple’s iTunes Web Site.

The AAA Strollerthon is a 3K walk for child passenger safety held along a marked route inside the Detroit Zoo. Each walker is sponsored by donations from friends and family members. The donations are used by AAA charity partner Michigan SAFE KIDS to purchase child safety seats for low-income families who are without child safety seats.

"There is a great need for this public service," commented Linda M. Woolwine, president and COO of AAA Michigan. "We're grateful for the many contributions made by our program and media partners to help provide more safety and security to those who need it most."

Although Michigan state law requires that children under four years of age must be seated and properly secured in a child safety seat at all times inside a moving vehicle, many Michigan families do not have the financial means necessary to meet this mandatory preventative safety measure.

There are nearly 200,000 families living below the poverty level in Michigan, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Because they lack access to affordable child safety seats, these low-income families have a below-standard rate of using child safety seats, and have considerably higher injury and fatality rates than those of middle and upper-income U.S. families.

According to a 1998 study commissioned by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Hispanic children aged 5 to 12 are 72 percent more likely than non-Hispanic children to suffer a fatal injury resulting from a car crash. African-American children of the same age bracket are almost three times as likely than their Caucasian counterparts to suffer a fatal injury in an auto accident.

Besides the expense of child safety seats and booster seats for older children, their proper installation and use continues to plague the nation. In 2002, study of booster seat use in six states reported the following:
• 46 percent of children aged 4-8 were inappropriately using adult seatbelts
• 37 percent were using booster seats
• 17 percent were riding completely without restraint.

To help booster seat awareness, the 2006 AAA Strollerthon placed emphasis on educating families on the important differences between child safety seats and booster seats, and their appropriate uses.

From birth through adulthood, Lowest Price Traffic School believes in making safety a priority. Over the past ten years, we've provided traffic school courses, learner permit classes, and other driver education resources to over two million customers nationwide.

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