May 1st marks the sixth annual “Keep Kids Alive Drive 25A Call to Action” campaign.  Speeding and running stop signs in residential neighborhoods represent the single greatest complaints to police departments and city council representatives throughout the United States.  Most of these speeders live in your neighborhood.  Some have been clocked at 40 or 50 mph in 25 mph zones.  This type of driving is a special threat to our children.  Running stop signs causes 200 pedestrian deaths and 17,000 injuries per year. 

The mission of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25  is to change the way we drive on neighborhood streets and beyond.  Their goal is to put an end to deaths and injuries caused by speeding and distracted driving on our nation’s roads.  No one wants to be behind the wheel and hit someone.  Observing the speed limit is a great way to significantly reduce crashes, injuries and deaths.  Citizens should be engaged in a common commitment to create safer streets for the benefit of all, starting in our own neighborhood.  

Here are some Fast Facts from KKAD that may inspire us to slow down:

  • 500 children under 14 years were killed while walking in what should be their safe haven – their neighborhood. (NHTSA)
  • The death rate on residential streets is over twice that of highways – measured per miles driven. (NHTSA)
  • A pedestrian hit in a 30 mph speed zone is three times more likely to die than one hit in a 25 mph zone. (General Estimates Database of Police Reported Accidents – NHTSA)
  • If you hit a pedestrian: At 20 mph, 5% will die.  At 30 mph, 45% will die.  At 40 mph, 85% will die.
  • The distance necessary to stop a vehicle is extended by speeding:  At 20 mph, the total stopping distance needed is 69’.  At 30 mph, the distance needed is 123’.  At 40 mph, the distance needed is 189’, which may not be enough distance and time for you to avoid hitting an object or person on the road. (USDOT, NHSTA)
  • Speeding triples the odds of crashing. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety) 

Here are five reasons you shouldn’t speed –  from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association:  

  • Save lives – Slowing down increases the likelihood of surviving a crash.  Over 12,000 persons died in speed-related crashes in 2008.  Don’t become a statistic.
  • Save money – Speeding reduces fuel efficiency, causing you to buy gas more often.  With today’s high fuel prices, slowing down will pay dividends in savings, as well as safety.
  • Save the environment – Ford Motor Company research shows that driving a vehicle at 65 mph consumes about 15% more fuel than driving the same vehicle at 55 mph.  More fuel consumed means more CO2 released into the atmosphere.
  • Save yourself a ticket – Highway safety agencies and law enforcement are cracking down on speeders.  Obey the sign or pay the fine!
  • Save your license – A speeding ticket could lead to points on your driving record.  Too many points and you could lose your license and your insurance premiums could go up. 

Also, this from Keep Kids Alive Drive 25: Seat belts are FASTENATING!, an initiative to educate drivers and passsengers about the benefits of wearing seat belts.  Focus on all the good that comes from using seat belts, especially when it comes to relationships with family and friends.  Also, please don’t text and drive. You may be driving slower in neighborhoods, but a child could run out into the street for a ball, or on a bicycle, and that split second could cost their lives.  The driver and family alike would never rebound from those kind of circumstances.  Watch out for our kids!

With only a few more weeks of school remaining, we need to think about keeping our kids safe as they play near the streets in their neighborhoods.  Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 is a friendly reminder to slow down in our fast-paced world and take personal responsibility for our driving behavior.

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