March 5, 2002
New Highway Safety Campaign Targets
With motor vehicle crashes now the leading cause of death among Hispanics
ages 1-44, a new Spanish language campaign was launched today to increase
awareness about highway safety issues. The campaign uses culturally relevant
educational materials and community outreach strategies to help improve
safety among Hispanic Americans.
Latino/Hispanic Americans are among the populations in the United States
disproportionately affected by traffic safety problems.
"President Bush and Secretary Mineta are committed to affording all
Americans the same high level of safety, and this campaign will help close
the gap," NHTSA Administrator Dr. Jeffrey Runge said. "Seat belts and child
safety seats are the most effective safety devices available in a car, and I
urge all Hispanic Americans to make a habit of using them."
According to NHTSA, at highest risk are Hispanic children ages 5-12, who are
72 percent more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than non-Hispanic
children. Determined to reduce those tragic deaths, the agency will include
the bilingual component in this year's National Child Passenger Safety
campaign to inform all families, childcare providers, and the
Spanish-speaking community about child passenger safety.
The campaign, "Corazón de mi vida," was developed by the National Latino
Children's Institute (NLCI) and is funded by Nationwide Insurance and the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The goal of 'Corazón
de mi vida' or "You Are the Center of My Life" is to make buckling up a
habit for Latino parents and their children.
"Buckling up is a habit that builds on the parents' love for their children.
This campaign encourages parents to become more active partners in keeping
their children safe," said Rebéca Barrera, president of NLCI. "This is the
third year of our campaign, now we are happy to bring it to New York."
"Nationwide Insurance is proud to be a provider of funds for this program
because we have a long-standing corporate commitment to traffic safety that
encompasses research, education, and communication. This program has given
Nationwide yet another means of expanding our outreach and continuing our
efforts in automobile and traffic safety in the Latino community," said
Marco Capalino, director of markets development.
Dr. Runge, Adolfo Carrión Jr., Bronx borough president, and Raymond P.
Martinez, New York Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and Chair of Governor
George E. Pataki's Traffic Safety Committee, were scheduled to attend the
Bronx kick-off event to support the campaign and speak to parents concerned
about their children's safety.
"Children are not at risk of serious traffic injuries because of race,
color, or creed, although we are learning today that Hispanic children could
be more at risk on our highways," said Martinez. "No matter how diverse the
community, whether it is like the Bronx where I grew up, or rural upstate
New York, the safety of our children continues to be a top priority for
Governor Pataki and to me personally."
At the event statistics were provided to document rates of traffic death and
injury among Hispanics. Testimonials, endorsements, a preview of the "Corazón
de mi Vida" bilingual awareness campaign, and demonstrations on the proper
use of child passenger seats also were featured. After the press conference,
NLCI and ASPIRA Association of New York, a local safety partner, were to
hold a "charla," a workshop with Hispanic parents on the best ways to
protect their children.
Nationwide Insurance is donating a limited number of child passenger safety
seats to the ASPIRA Association of New York for local families. Nationwide
Insurance has been a strong supporter of national efforts to safeguard the
lives of Hispanic children through the proper use of child passenger safety
NHTSA's new multicultural outreach web site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov/multicultural,
also was unveiled at the event. The web site contains research reports,
statistics, complete kits, brochures, posters, and camera-ready artwork in
Spanish for community groups to download, reprint, and distribute to their
constituencies. In addition, visitors can order publications and other
materials directly from the web site. The web site also contains sections
supporting African American, Asian American, and American Indian groups.
The campaign was announced at a press conference at the ASPIRA of New York's
Project BEAM 10 at PS86X, 2756 Reservoir Avenue in the Bronx.