National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC -- National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker praised the National Safety Council's Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign, which will cease operations at the end of this year, for advocating primary enforcement seat belt laws, and for its leadership in improving passenger safety. The Campaign was founded in response to 1995 Safety Board recommendations that asked automobile manufacturers to warn parents of the dangers that air bags posed to children.
"The Campaign has been a remarkable example of a public- private partnership, including the Safety Board, other federal agencies and the private sector working as a team to advance air bag safety and increase safety belt use," Rosenker said. "They have been instrumental in creating public awareness and change on our highways. I congratulate them on their of success in furthering vehicle occupant safety."
During its decade long existence, the Campaign assisted in bringing about a cultural shift in the way children 12 and under are transported in vehicles - in a rear seat. "This is one of the most successful changes in societal behavior in recent decades, rivaling changes in attitudes toward smoking and drunk driving," Rosenker said.
The campaign also spearheaded national adoption of the Click It or Ticket program and fostered a massive national annual law enforcement mobilization to enforce seat belt use laws. Their initiatives have helped to achieve a national seat belt use rate of more than 82 percent, a 21-percentage-point increase.
Furthermore, the Campaign's efforts led to adoption of primary enforcement seat belt use laws in more states; these laws now cover about two-thirds of the U.S. population, compared to less than 40 percent when the Campaign began.
"The Campaign's work has made a tremendous impact on our roadways and has saved countless lives," Rosenker said. "But we cannot rest on this success. We all must continue to put safety first on our highway."
NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.