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Infant Safety Seat Initiative

WHEREAS, the leading cause of deaths for African-American children in the United States between the ages of 0 to 14 is the failure to use restraints such as infant car seats, booster seats and seat belts; and

WHEREAS, a study conducted by the Meharry Medical College, has documented findings which demonstrate the importance of safety belts, infant car seats, booster seats and other safety devices as life-saving tools in motor vehicles; and

WHEREAS, the Meharry Medical College study commissioned by General Motors Corporation, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Blue Ribbon Panel to promote African-American Safety Belt Use appointed by Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater; and the Black Congress on Health Law and Economics, directed by Attorney Derrick A. Humphries, Honorary Chairwoman, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Honorary Member, Congressman John Conyers; and others have called for immediate strategies, programs, educational tools and model projects to increase the use of infant car seats, booster seats and safety belts among African-Americans to save lives; and

WHEREAS, units of the NAACP were authorized to conduct a model program to distribute infant car seats in conjunction with General Motors Corporation and Safekids, Inc., in a highly successful endeavor; and

WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to replicate the NAACP infant car seat distribution nationwide among targeted NAACP Branches and units in order to reduce the 1,400 deaths of children and infants which have been attributed to failure to utilize restraints.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP National Convention support the recognition of Increased Use of Automobile Vehicle Safety Devices as a Health and Safety Issue; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP facilitate the development of program models and resources to promote the implementation of infant car seat distributions and safety belt education nationwide to prevent needless deaths and injuries, by affirming a credible approach with proven successful methodologies that prioritizes the increased use of safety belts, infant car seats and booster seats among African-Americans as a health and safety issue.