The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and popular animated series Chuggington announced a new partnership to teach children how to be safe in and around cars. The nationwide traffic safety campaign is geared specifically towards children from the ages of 2 to 7 and includes a public service announcement featuring characters from the show, a kid-focused safety pledge and downloadable tips and activities for parents and caregivers to use with children.
“This exciting partnership with Chuggington will help us bring our traffic safety message to young children and parents alike,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Educating children at an early age about the importance of wearing bicycle helmets, looking both ways when crossing the street and buckling up leads to a lifetime of good traffic safety habits.”
Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children, with 1,314 fatalities and 179,000 injuries to those 14 and younger in 2009. In 2007, an estimated 262 fatalities and 115,000 injuries to children 14 and younger occurred from pedestrian incidents involving children playing in or around motor vehicles. The new partnership unveiled today combines NHTSA’s safety guidelines for pedestrians, school buses, bikes and car seat use with Chuggington’s characters to reach parents and children.
“Chuggington’s characters learn important life lessons in every episode of the show and often earn badges as rewards for appropriate behavior,” said Dick Rothkopf, chairman of Ludorum, the creators of the show. “The ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!’ traffic safety pledge and badge is based on this concept. We hope that children will be excited to learn the rules of the road while they interact with Chuggington’s characters and earn their ‘official’ Chuggington Traffic Safety badges.”
Local parents and educators can access the Chuggington kids pledge and online tools by going to www.chuggington.com/safety.
To learn more about child seat guidelines or to find a local fitting station call the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles at 800 842-8222 or 860 263-5700 (in Hartford).