Topics: Rodney E. Slater
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 9, 1997
Contact: Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550
ORLANDO, Fla. -- In keeping with President Clinton's goal to reduce the number of traffic fatalities among children and increase seat belt use nationwide, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater today joined members of the Florida Highway Patrol at the KinderCare Learning Center in Walt Disney World Village to demonstrate the proper use of child safety seats and encourage parents to place children under 12 in the back seat.
"The safest place for children under 12 is buckled up in the back seat," Secretary Slater said. "And, if properly installed, child safety seats are exceptionally effective in protecting small children from fatal injury in traffic crashes. That is why law enforcement officers across the nation, like the members of the Florida Highway Patrol and others here today, are teaching parents the right way to install child safety seats."
According to the department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) more than 1,800 children under 15 years old die in traffic crashes each year.
Properly installed child safety seats are about 71 percent effective in preventing fatal injury to children during crashes, but there is about 80 percent misuse. If child safety seat use were 100 percent for children under five, an estimated 532 lives would have been saved in 1995, NHTSA Administrator Ricardo Martinez, M.D., said.
President Clinton this spring embraced goals to reduce the number of child fatalities in traffic crashes 15 percent by the year 2000 and 25 percent by 2005, and to increase seat belt use to 85 percent by the year 2000. The department has developed a national strategy to achieve those goals through a four-point plan: