GM Foundation: Press Releases

15-Year Partnership Drives Safety Education

General Motors Foundation, GM and Safe Kids Worldwide Mark 15-Year Partnership Of Buckle Up Program During Child Passenger Safety Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The General Motors Foundation, General Motors and Safe Kids Worldwide this week celebrate 15 years of the Buckle Up program that has helped reach millions of parents and caregivers and their young passengers during a rapid evolution in auto safety technology.

With Child Passenger Safety Week starting today, Safe Kids, the GM Foundation and GM continue efforts to keep children and families safe in and around cars through the Buckle Up program, the nation’s most extensive multifaceted child passenger safety program.

"The GM Foundation's 15-year commitment to Safe Kids Buckle Up is a sterling example of corporate social responsibility at its best", said Kate Carr, Safe Kids President and CEO. "There is no doubt that countless child fatalities and injuries have been prevented as a result of this partnership and the GM Foundation's long-term dedication to it", Carr added.

The Safe Kids Buckle Up program began with a focus on child safety seat checks at GM dealers. Over the past 15 years, it has grown into a multifaceted program that addresses child safety in an around vehicles. To date, certified experts at nearly 80,000 car seat checks have inspected more than 1.5 million car seats for proper installation. Additionally, more than 550,000 car seats have gone to at-risk families, many at no cost through the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza; and more than 22 million people have been exposed to the program's events and outreach activities.

The Buckle Up program also includes:

  • 118 mobile child safety vans, completely equipped to conduct child passenger safety events;
  • 500 permanent child safety seat inspection stations, including at GM dealerships;
  • Spot the Tot and Never Leave Your Child Alone, programs aimed at preventing fatalities and injuries to children in and around vehicles;
  • Safest Generation (for kids 11 and 12) and Countdown2Drive (ages 13 and 14) to address the needs of older children and their families; and
  • Activities that advocate for stronger state child passenger safety laws.


"The safety initiatives created through the Buckle Up program help ensure that our nation's youth are protected from the time they are infants to teenagers getting behind the wheel for the first time," said GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard. "These initial lessons instill good safety habits that last a lifetime."

In a nationwide effort to educate parents about the importance of car seat safety during Child Passenger Safety Week (September 16-22), Safe Kids, the GM Foundation and GM  ask every parent to take 15 minutes for an at-home child safety seat checkup using the Safe Kids downloadable checklist. Additionally, the Department of Transportation today kicked off Child Passenger Safety Week along with Safe Kids Worldwide at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

For parents who want additional assistance, Safe Kids hosts car seat inspection events across the country throughout the year. Parents are invited to bring their car, child safety seat and child to an event in their area where certified child passenger safety technicians provide one-on-one “hands-on” help with installation. Parents and caregivers can locate an event in their community by visiting the Safe Kids website.

About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates.  Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM.  The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.

About General Motors
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.


About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations dedicated to providing parents and caregivers with practical and proven resources to protect kids from unintentional injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and every one of these tragedies is preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 600 coalitions in the U.S. and in 23 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids, working with community partners, has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 53 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Visit us at safekids.org.

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CONTACTS:
Heather Rosenker
GM Public Policy and Government Relations Communications
202-309-6045
heather.rosenker@gm.com         

Katherine Collins
Safe Kids
314-791-0537
kcollins@safekids.org