The mission of the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is to reduce deaths, injuries
and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. The U.S. Coast
Guard Office of Boating Safety is dedicated to reducing loss of life,
injuries, and property damage that occur on U.S. waterways by improving
the knowledge, skills, and abilities of recreational boaters.
Efforts to Protect Children
– Motor Vehicle Crashes are the leading cause of
death for children age 4 to 14, and, in 2000 more than half of all children
under 15 years of age killed in car crashes were completely unrestrained.
NHTSA is committed to reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities through
both behavioral programs and vehicle regulations. NHTSA works to educate
the public about safe behavior that reduces the risk of being involved
in traffic crashes. NHTSA establishes and enforces Federal Motor Vehicle
Safety Standards, which enable vehicles to better protect passengers.
Tips to Protect Children from Transportation-Related
In the Vehicle – Child Passenger Safety
- All children should be placed in child safety seats, booster seats
or seat belts – every time they ride in a car or truck.
- Children 12 and younger should be buckled up in the back seat.
- Infants must be placed in rear-facing seats until they are at least
one year old and 20 pounds.
- Children between 20 and 40 pounds should be placed in forward-facing
- When your child outgrows his or her forward-facing safety seat, use
a booster seat until your child is at least 8 years old or over 4-feet
- Seat belts alone are made for adults. A booster seat raises a child
up so the seat belt fits.
- Children who have outgrown booster seats should always use seat belts
and parents should buckle up.
School Bus Safety: Students
riding a school bus should always:
- Stand at least 5 giant steps (10 feet) from the edge of the road.
- Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says its
okay before stepping onto the bus.
- Be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps
or dangling objects do not get caught in the handrail or door when exiting
- Walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at
least five giant steps ahead.
- Be sure the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
- Stop at the edge of the bus and look left-right-left before crossing.
- Always sit fully in the seat and face forward.
- Obey the driver.
- Never stick anything out the window – arms, legs, head, book
- Always wear a helmet. Head injury is the leading cause of death in
bicycle crashes and is the most important determinant of bicycle-related
death and permanent disability.
- Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury
by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as
- Buy a bike that is the right size, not one a child has to “grow
into.” Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
- Keep the bicycle well maintained.
- Know local traffic laws; cyclists must obey the same rules as motorists.
- Always ride single file in the same direction as other traffic.
- Always signal your moves.
- Never wear headphones while riding; they impair your ability to hear
- Stay alert at all times (watch for other vehicles, pedestrians, potholes,
cracks, expansion joints, railroad tracks, wet leaves, drainage grates.)
- Children are not small adults. Until children are at least 10 or
11 years old, they don’t have the skills to handle traffic.
- Parents or other responsible caregivers must supervise children at
- At intersections, stop at the curb, look left-right-left for traffic
in all directions, cross when it is clear, and keep looking for cars
as you cross.
- Children should wear bright colored clothing in the daytime and carry
flashlights or wear retro-reflective materials at night.
- Play areas should be away from traffic, fenced and under adult supervision.
- Do not walk, run or cycle on railroad tracks and property or through
- Cross tracks only at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings.
Observe all warning signs and signals.
- Do not hunt, fish or jump from trestles. There is only enough clearance
on tracks for a train to pass. They are not meant to be sidewalks or
- Be aware trains do not follow set schedules. Any Time is Train Time!
For more information, contact http://www.fra.dot.gov/site/index.htm.
- The U.S. Coast Guard requires all children under 13 years old to
wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket, that fits, when underway on
a recreational vessel unless they are in an enclosed cabin or below
- Kids can enjoy interactive safe boating at the U.S. Coast Guard website: