Remarks of Jim Hall, Chairman
National Transportation Safety Board
before the National Safe Kids Leadership Conference
January 13, 1999

Good morning. It's so nice to be here today.

I've been looking forward to this event as a way to get a fresh start on a new year. We need a fresh start here in Washington after the year we had in 1998 - I'm sure you know what I'm referring to. I mean, those Redskins were pitiful, weren't they?

At least in my household, we got to celebrate a national football championship when my alma mater, Tennessee, won the Fiesta Bowl last week. Now, that's getting the new year off to a good beginning!

I believe that the most important thing to any of our communities is our children.

The most important thing to our nation is our children.

And, the most important measure of the values of our society is how we take care of our children.

These fitting stations would be fixed locations where parents and other caregivers can go at their convenience:

We need your support for this recommendation because you know, first hand, the importance of, and the need for, this endeavor. Your volunteer initiatives must become a permanent part of our safety net for all kids so that we do not continue to lose children at the current rate, approximately 9,000 children under the age of 10 during the 1990s alone.

Let's now turn to the other reasons why I am asking you to help me make 1999 the Year of Child Transportation Safety. You see, the problem with improperly used safety seats is just one of the challenges the NTSB identified in a 1996 study on the performance of child restraint systems, seat belts and air bags for children. There is much this nation needs to do in all areas of transportation safety if it truly wishes to end the needless loss of so many innocent lives.

In this regard, there are a number of initiatives that we need your help on to ensure that this worthy goal is achieved.

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