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Ford Program Gives Child Safety A Boost
Thu, 19 Jun 2003, 22:42

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta and Ford CEO Jacques Nasser present 6-year-old Autumn Waitt and her mother, Christina Waitt, with a booster seat as part of the Boost America! campaign. The $30 million effort will include a one million booster seat giveaway. Photo: © 2001 Rebecca Hamel.

(NAPSI)—A recent survey found that most parents and caregivers are conscientious about ensuring that children ride safely, reporting that their children ride with a safety belt or safety seat “of some type.” However, the survey also found that up to 79 percent are misinformed about the correct safety device to use for children of different ages.

In an effort to better protect the nation’s children—specifically those ages 4 to 8—in automobiles, the Ford Motor Company helped launch the Boost America! program. The multi-faceted campaign—the largest child passenger safety program in automotive history—includes educational videos, a push for new state booster seat laws and the free distribution of one million booster seats. The campaign is designed to help shift attitudes and behavior in favor of better protection for child passengers through increased booster seat use.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to encourage the safety of all of our passengers,” says Jacques Nasser, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company.

Additional findings of the 50-state survey, conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide, include:

• 88 percent have heard or read about booster seats, but reported usage was only 21 percent. “Too big” is the leading reason cited by parents for not using a booster seat.

• 71 percent mistakenly believe it is safe to place children under age 8 in a vehicle with just a regular safety belt.

• Women are somewhat more likely than men to be aware of booster seats and have their children ride in them.

• Among ethnic minorities, African Americans are somewhat more likely to have heard about booster seats, but the children of all ethnic minorities are less likely to be riding in a booster seat.

• Higher levels of income and education correlate with greater booster seat awareness and usage.

• The best reports of booster seat usage by their children come from younger women (18 to 34 years) and wealthier women (household income of $80,000 or more).

The seat giveaway is being conducted only through the United Way and participating Ford Motor Company dealers. To learn more, visit

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