Good morning. Thank you, Rob, for that kind introduction, and thank you, Torine, for inviting me to participate in this fantastic event and for all you do to keep kids safe.
I’m excited to be here: 50,000 child safety seats inspected is quite an accomplishment! Congratulations, Jack, to you and your team. Your dedication to your community and to child passenger safety is truly remarkable.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating transportation disasters, including major highway crashes.
Let me tell you why I’m here: More than 1200 children are killed on our nation’s roads annually. Our goal at the NTSB is zero – zero deaths, zero injuries, zero crashes.
One way to get there is by making sure our kids are properly restrained in child safety seats and seatbelts. That’s why Strengthen Occupant Protection is on the NTSB’s Most Wanted List for 2019 and 2020.
The Most Wanted List identifies the issues the NTSB believes are the highest risk to safety, and the ones I believe we can do something about over the next two years.
We’re at the start of summer. This means kids are out of school. They’re going to summer camp, friends’ houses, and many families are heading out of town for vacation.
I urge you to make sure that whoever is driving your kids around – whether it’s you, another family member, a friend, or a sitter – is using a child safety seat that’s been properly installed and that everyone in the car is buckled up. Car seats and seat belts save lives!
And for those who are flying this summer, please don’t check your car seats at the gate. Federal regulations require us to secure luggage and small items like laptops and purses during takeoff and landing, but the most vulnerable passengers – our kids – are often sitting on our laps. I urge you to take the time to make sure they’re safely secured in their own seats.
Right before my daughter was born, I went to a certified technician at a local fire department for help installing our car seats. I thought for sure that I had installed our car seats correctly, but I didn’t. The incline wasn’t right. I would’ve never known that myself.
Installing a car seat can be difficult, especially given the variety of seats available and the different makes and models of vehicles. Most parents think they’re installing them right, but research shows that 3 out of 4 car seats aren’t correctly used or installed.
That’s why we need trained and certified experts like Jack and his team, the men and women of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, the Montgomery County Police Department, and those volunteers that make up the more than 40,000 child passenger safety technicians around the country.
So, Jack, thank you again for your commitment to child safety. For those watching or listening, please come by and take advantage of this free opportunity to ensure your kids are safe in their seat.