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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
April 25, 1997     Cape Gazette
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April 25, 1997

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18 - CAPE GAZETTE, F'iday, April 25- May I, 1997 CAPE LIFE Public/private air bag safety campaign launched in Sussex As a result Of a commitment between the public and private sectors,.on "['nursday, April 17, at- Delaware  Police Troop 4 in Georgetown, Delaware unveiled mr aimed at preventil/g needless injuries and deaths. M/s/nformation about the dan- gers of air bags has led to a nation- ai controversy as to whether air bags are more dangerous than use- ful in the event of an automobile accident. Statistics indicate that when used properly, air bags definitely promote safety. Injuries are preventable in many crashes, said Delaware State Police Superintendent Alan Ellingsworth. "Air bags work," he said. "They save lives." Eugene Peterson, Region III administrator with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administra- tion, com- mended Ellingsworth for taking Delaware to the forefront PETERSON in the region for highway safety and traffic law enforcement. The Delaware air bag and seat belt campaign, he said, contains all of the elements of President Bill Clinton's recently released national strategy for increasing seat belt use. Those goals, said. Peterson, are to increase the national seat belt use to 85 percent by the year 2000 and to 90 percent by 2005; and to reduce child occupant fatalities (zero to four years old) by 15 per- cent in the year 2000 and by 25 percent in 2005. Anyone's most precious cargo, he said, is achild. "The safest place for all Children to be is in the back eat" og4he,vehiule,' Peterson. ,diXie death of one child to an air bag deployment is unac- ceptable." The air bag safety billboard campaign will be in place through- out the state by the end of April. The billboards tout the importance of wearing seat belts, and they also have phone numbers people can call for more information on air bag or car seat safety. According to a fact sheet pro- duced by the National Safety Council, "Air bags have reduced fatalities up to 30 percent in head- on crashes...[and] moderate to severe injuries have fallen 25 to 29 percent because of the use of air bags. Injury claims at hospitals resulting from traffic crashes have dropped 24 percent as a result of air bags." Although it is true that more than 30 children have died as a result of deployed air hags, most of those children were victims because they were not traveling properly in the vehicles. Children under the age of 12 should always travel in the back seat. During a collision, an air bag can deploy at a rate of approxi- mately 200 mph. According to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, the force of that deploy- ment creates danger in the front passenger seat to infants whose car seats are facing either the seat or forward, and it also poses a threat to children who are restrained by a seat belts but fac- ing forward. Children and adults alike are at risk of sustaining serious injury or The Delaware OflSee of Highway Safety presented community service awards to state police and community members who were instrumental in developing and promoting the state's newly launched highway safety billboard campaign. The statewide program, sponsored through the Office of Highway Safety, the Delaware State Police and the Division of Public Health, features brightly colored billboards promoting seat belt use and appropriate automo- bile seating/or children. The billboards also offer a phone number for information about air bag and ear seat safety. Shown (l-r) are CpL Preston Lewis, Delaware State PoNce, who was awarded a plaque for hla dedication in coordinating the corporate ponsop for the Kent and Sussex County campaigns; and corporate sponsors Lee Terrick of First State Chevrolet; Sharon Pusey, office manager for Imnkford Signs, Inc., holding her assistant Keith Lankford (16 months); Bob Lucian of MiIlsbore Ford; and Terry McGee of McGee Motors. Also shown are Secretary of the Department of Public Safety Karen Johnson and Delaware State Police Superintendent Alan EllingswortlL even death if they are unbucHed in the front seat of a vehicle during a collision. According to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Delaware's child restraint laws arc as follows: Any child Under the age of four must be restrained in a feder- ally approved child reswaint seat. Children between the ages of four and 15 must be restrained in an approved child restraint seat or safety belt. The law pertains to all seating ' positions, both front and back seats, in a motor vehicle. This law isa primary violation. For more information, call the The fine for a violation is Delaware Office of Highway $28.75 for each offense. Safety at 1-302-739-4475. TIPS FOR AIR BAG SAFETY Children under the age of 12 should always fide bucHed up in the back seat. Children in child safety scats should NEVER ride in the front seat of" a vehicle with a Imsseagcf side air bag. Young children and babies should ride in the back seat in child safcty seats that are approved for their age and their size. Older children should also ride buckled up in the back scat. Everyone should buckle up with both lap AND shoulder belts on every trip. Front passenger scats should be moved as far back from thc dashboard as possible. - From a Ombmm OSSm a  sy It's time to make that inevitable switch to spring O.K., winter is over, spring just blew by and now it's time to step outside and mingle. One look at your social calendar, which up until now has consisted of one lone entry, "buy stamps today," and suddenly you will be scurry- ing for your checkbook, boxes of Kleenex and cases of Ibuprofen. We are coming up on the month of May, traditionally the end of the year activity time: graduations, weddings, divorces, school ban- quets, birthdays, anniversaries, remarriages, vacations, family reunions and what's left of the neighborhood get-togethers. This should be quite a transition since your only communication with the outside world has been months of watching and identify- ing with 'Whe X Files" on televi- sion. Suddenly you will be thrust amongst masses of people who are subtly trying to fit in by wearing this year's fashion statement of lime green shirts, citrus yellow pants and gold lam6 headbands. You will have-to make the switch from identifying with an alien whose left side of the face looks like a half done meafloaf to mak- ing conversation with people who are shoving small square crackers in their mouths and saying things like "Don't you think interest rates- should go up in the next quarter considering the NASDAQ fig- uresT' And the only thought in your head will be trying to remem- ber the second verse of the song 'qJnchained Melody": ... and time can do so much. Are you still mihine...I need your love..." ...God speed your But transitions don't have to be that tough. You just need a new attitude, like low expectations. Take a simple graduation. Sup- pose it's your first child graduat- ing from college. You've sacri- riced and dreamed of this moment for a long time. It's a proud day and you want your son or daughter to be pleased by your appearance. Sure there will be a lot of hang- overs that morning, for the cele- brations went far into the night. For heavens sake, it's not the grad- uates celebrating, they were all in bed at ten, in keeping with their college schedule of fulfilling at least 18 hours of sleep a day. It's the parents straggling in with half empty bottles of champagne and wearing T-shirts that say "No More Tuition, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, Free At Last." Cellular phones hummed all night with parents perched on roof tops booking cruises, buying cars, scheduling face lifts, ordering house plans and throwing rolls of, toilet paper. O.K., so that was my family. But I wouldn't be too quick to point a finger. I don't care who you are, as long as you are a mother of a child graduating from college, it is written somewhere in stone that you will always wear the wrong outfit. It will be memo- rialized forever in photographs and talked about by your children at every opportunity. Graduation will be known as the time "Mom wore that plaid suit with the matching blue pumps." Right in the middle of the prayer at a Thanksgiving dinner, someone will blurt out "Hey that turkey reminds me of that handbag Mom had at my graduation. Unbeliev- able!" You will have to start practicing for these events now. Start off small. Buy a few comic books. Carry around a doctored photo of you and President Clinton having coffee. Simulate a cocktail party by making large cardboard cutouts of people and placing them around your living room. Trust me, you will be ready. At least in some circles. Nancy Katz