NTSB chairman speaks on child safety at Fitzgerald Auto Mall

NTSB chairman speaks on child safety at Fitzgerald Auto Mall

Jack Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Auto Malls and longtime child safety seat advocate, welcomed National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Deborah Hersman to a Back to School Transportation Safety Day at Fitzgerald Auto Malls in Rockville last week.

Fitzgerald started a child safety seat check in 1999 after the dealer group became aware of the clear and present danger of improperly installed child safety seats. Since then, Fitzgerald Auto Malls has installed and inspected nearly 44,000 child safety seats – more than any other local volunteer program in the country, which drew praise from Hersman, who is expected to be approved imminently by the Senate for the permanent position of NTSB Chairman.

Hersman also spoke about a number of other transportation safety issues for school-age children. School buses, she said, are the safest way to transport children to school every day. But when children are in cars, its crucial to keep them properly situated in appropriate child safety seats. She also spoke of teen driver safety and the importance of teaching teens that driving is the most dangerous daily activity they perform, a message dramatically underscored by Montgomery County Police Captain Tom Didones first-hand account of his own teenage sons recent death in a traffic crash. Todd Watkins, director of transportation with the Montgomery County Public Schools, discussed the safest ways to transport children to school safely and the critical need for motorists to observe and comply with stopped school bus signals.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) appeared with Chairman Hersman and echoed praise for Fitzgerald Auto Malls commitment to child passenger safety, pointing to the dealer organizations longstanding, far and away leadership on ensuring the safe transportation of young children in automobiles.”

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