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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

Tuesday, October 8, 2002
Contact: Bill Outlaw
Tel: 202-366-0660
FHWA 42-02

Transportation Partners Announce "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day"

To help reduce highway fatalities and injuries, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) today joined a host of national safety advocates to set Oct. 10 as the second annual "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day." The Department's Federal Highway, National Highway Traffic Safety, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations are supporting this special day for safety.

"Safety is the Bush administration's highest transportation priority, and I commend our partners for their efforts in helping to improve highway safety," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. "We are all working together to improve driver, vehicle and road safety. Our goal is to have a zero-fatality day on Oct. 10 and fewer fatalities throughout the year."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and other public and private safety organizations joined in making the announcement today in Vienna, VA.

"We have one of the safest highway systems in the world, but we must take greater personal responsibility when using it, especially by always buckling up," said FHWA Deputy Administrator J. Richard Capka at the Vienna press conference. "Continuous advances in highway design, such as more visible pavement markings and signs, skid resistant pavements and rumble strips, are enhancing the positive effects of driver attention in improving safety."

Since 1992, the number of traffic fatalities has hovered at 41,000 to 42,000 annually. That's about 115 fatalities every single day - one every 13 minutes. The purpose of "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" is to increase public awareness and personal responsibility for safe roadway travel.

The Department asked motorists to "drive as if your life depends on it" and also offered the following safety tips:

  • Buckle up.
  • Use appropriately installed child safety seats.
  • Don't drink and drive.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Stay alert and give full attention to the roadway.
  • Pay attention to school zones, weather conditions and work zones.
  • Obey the posted speed limits and traffic signals.

Additional information and a list of participating organizations are on the Internet at www.brakesonfatalities.org.


Related Link: Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day Radio News Release

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