When I was little my mother had a green Plymouth Scamp- every inch of that car was green. I remember sitting in the backseat with my little sister so excited to go anywhere! Thankfully before we left the driveway my mother would turn around and check to make sure we were buckled up. We’d pull those green lap belts tight across our laps, and then we were ready to go. So when the National Safety Council introduced the Make It Click- Buckle Up seatbelt campaigns in the early 80’s I was already aware of the importance of seatbelts.
The National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is an international non-profit, non-governmental public service organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and death at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education, and advocacy. Their vision is to make the world safer.
The NSC was founded in 1913, and was granted a congressional charter in 1953. Workplace safety and transportation have been critical areas of focus to the council since it was founded. Over the years they’ve expanded their focus to include safety in homes and communities. Right now two areas the council is focusing on is teen driving, and distracted driving.
Some past NSC campaigns have been:
1964 Defensive Driving Course: Since 1964, the NSC has trained more than 60 million drivers and today offers more than 25 different defensive driving and fleet safety courses. NSC has more than 2,500 authorized Defensive Driving Course Training Centers and more than 8,800 certified DDC Instructors worldwide.
1996 Air Bag & SeatBelt Campaign: The Council led the Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign in partnership with more than 150 corporations and organizations, increasing U.S. seat belt usage by 19 million people in its first two years and reducing child deaths from air bags by 94 percent. The NSC completed the campaign in 2006, after having exceeded its injury prevention goals.
You can see the other campaigns on the NSC website (http://www.nsc.org/Pages/Home.aspx). In 2009 NSC introduced a focus on Banning Cell Phone Use While Driving. They also focus on reducing the number of lives lost to motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Primary areas of concern are distracted driving, speeding, teen drivers, alcohol-impaired drivers, mature drivers (65+) and use of occupant restraints.
NSC supports April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It was introduced as a resolution last year by former Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in a 410-2 vote on March 23, 2010. The resolution mentions 9-year-old Erica Forney, who was struck and killed by a distracted driver in Fort Collins, CO, in November 2008.
The NSC has a goal that by 2014, that the council will save an additional 10,000 lives and prevent 1 million injuries. As they continue their successful partnerships and campaigns with businesses, elected officials and the public it’s safe to say that they will more than likely exceed those goals.