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Poster Contest Aims to Put the Brakes on Fatalities

July 29, 2003 Release 03-097

News Contact: Kim Stich, (785) 296-3585

Poster Contest Aims to Put the Brakes on Fatalities

Kids ages 1 to 14 in Kansas are encouraged to enter artwork for a statewide poster contest focusing on Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day - a nationwide effort to reduce traffic fatalities by urging motorists to take extra precautions when driving. Oct. 10 is designated as Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day across the U.S.

Three regional winners in northeast Kansas will receive a bicycle donated by Wal-Mart and a helmet donated by Kansas SAFE KIDS Coalition with one entry selected from each of the three age groups: ages 1-4, ages 5-9 and ages 10-14. Of the 18 regional winners across the state, one statewide winner from each age group will be selected. The statewide winners will receive a family package donated by the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City.

Numerous transportation-related organizations are sponsoring Kansasí Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day celebrations. Regional events at Wal-Marts across the state will take place on Friday, Oct. 10. Those Wal-Marts are located in: Topeka, 1501 S.W. Wanamaker; Salina, 2900 South 9th Street; Hays, 4301 Vine Street; Chanute, 2700 South Santa Fe; Wichita, 11411 East Kellogg; and Garden City, 3101 East Kansas Avenue. Regional poster contest winners will receive their prizes at these events. The statewide event will be at Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County on Oct. 6.

All entries must be postmarked by Friday, Aug. 29, to be eligible and should be mailed to: AAA Kansas, Safety Department, 3545 SW 6th Street, Topeka, KS, 66606. On the back of the 8 Ĺ by 11-inch paper entry must be the childís full name; age at time of entry; mailing address; county; a parentís name; and contact phone number.

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people ages 6-33. Many of us have lost parents, siblings, children, friends and relatives on the nationís highways. Itís time to put the brakes on fatalities on Oct. 10.

There are things you can do to put the brakes on fatalities every day:

  • ADULTS AND CHILDREN OVER AGE 4 - always wear your safety belt. About 135,100 lives were saved between 1975-2002 nationwide by using safety belts.
  • CHILDREN UNDER AGE 4 - should always be in a child safety seat. When used correctly, they are 71 percent effective in preventing fatalities.
  • DONíT DRINK AND DRIVE - every 32 minutes, someone in this country dies in an alcohol-related crash.
  • BE ALERT WHEN DRIVING - falling asleep while driving causes at least 100,000 auto crashes a year and about 1,550 fatalities each year.
  • DONíT SPEED, ESPECIALLY IN WORK ZONES - on a 25-mile trip, driving 65 mph instead of 55 mph saves only about four minutes.
  • WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS - 13 pedestrians a day are killed in traffic crashes. In addition, 690 bicyclists were killed in traffic-related accidents last year, including 175 children ages 14 and under.