|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||NHTSA 12-99|
|March 22, 1999||Contact: Tim Hurd|
|Tel. No. (202) 366-9550|
8,500 Billboards Across America
To Remind Motorists to Buckle Up
Partnering with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today unveiled a public service campaign worth $5 million in advertising on more than 8,500 billboards throughout the United States, reminding motorists to use their seat belts.
"This national billboard campaign focuses on promoting a message that adults are role models for children and are responsible for ensuring that children also learn to buckle up, underscoring once again that safety is President Clinton's highest transportation priority," U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater said. "Children will not buckle up 70 percent of the time when the driver of the vehicle in which they are riding is unbuckled."
NHTSA Administrator Ricardo Martinez, M.D., unveiled the new billboard graphic designs in Seattle at the Lifesavers 17 Conference, the premier highway safety meeting in the United States. Each of the two designs features the face of a child with the caption: "He/She'll do what you do. Buckle up."
According to NHTSA, seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles today and are estimated to save more than 10,750 lives each year. Two years ago President Clinton established a national goal to increase national seat belt use to 90 percent and to reduce child occupant fatalities by 25 percent by the year 2005. If 90 percent of Americans buckle up, NHTSA estimates that more than 5,500 additional deaths and 132,000 additional injuries could be prevented each year.
State and local governments, as well as other interested organizations, may order and place these billboards while the supply lasts. Requests for 30- or 8-sheet posters may be mailed to Robert Ruzicka, Compton and Sons, Inc., 10645 Baur Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63132, or by phone at (314) 991-2201 or fax to (314) 991-4726.
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