Road Safe America Seeks National Observance of ‘Drive Safer Sunday’ Annually

‘Drive Safer Sunday’ to be Sunday after Thanksgiving every year

ATLANTA, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Seeking to call attention to the need for everyone on America’s roads to drive more safely, Road Safe America today announced an initiative to have the nation observe the Sunday after Thanksgiving every year as Drive Safer Sunday.

“The death of almost 43,000 people a year in more than 6 million highway crashes in America has been called an epidemic by U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta,” said Stephen C. Owings of Atlanta, whose son, Cullum, was killed in 2002 when his car was crushed from behind by a speeding tractor-trailer truck. “Road Safe America believes it’s time to set aside a special day of the year for everyone on our highways and roadways to focus simply on driving more safely.”

Drive Safer Sunday is planned to eventually set off a major national public safety campaign that can be embraced in many ways by high schools and colleges, numerous local, state and national non-profit organizations, as well as civic, business and social clubs around the nation.

Owings said Road Safe America, www.roadsafeamerica.org, a non-profit organization his family founded after Cullum’s death, is pushing for the Sunday after Thanksgiving every year to be observed as Drive Safer Sunday nationally because that’s the busiest highway traffic day of the year – and also the day their son was killed while driving back to college in Virginia with his younger brother.

With the help of the news media, Road Safe America hopes to raise public awareness about Drive Safer Sunday and to start a national movement in which people urge each other to drive safer on Sunday, November 27, this year.

Road Safe America is also urging other actions:
– The administrations of America’s high schools, colleges and
universities can use Drive Safer Sunday to launch campus-wide
educational campaigns to urge students returning to school after the
Thanksgiving holiday to be especially careful on the nation’s highways.
– Sororities and fraternities on college and university campuses all over
America can observe the weeks before Drive Safer Sunday as an
opportunity to openly discuss the need for their members and pledges to
drive more safely always, but especially on Drive Safer Sunday this
year and every year.
– National trucking firms can use the observance of Drive Safer Sunday to
alert their drivers to be especially focused on safe driving on the
heaviest traffic day of the year, and to talk up the importance of the
day on their CB radios and in truck stops across the nation.
– America’s clergy can mention Drive Safer Sunday in prayers or sermons a
week before the observance and also on the day itself, especially
asking for safe travels for those who will be on the roads returning
from family gatherings or returning to school.
– Law enforcement personnel who routinely predict the number of highway
deaths over the Thanksgiving weekend can now add, “And remember, Sunday
is Drive Safer Sunday, so we want you to do just that.”
– Primary and secondary schools can get behind the campaign, with
administrators and teachers urging children to tell their parents to
“Drive Safer Sunday” before they break for the holiday.

To see the very latest 2004 highway fatality statistics, please visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov, which is the website of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

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