ALEA: ‘You Do Have a Choice’ National Passenger Safety Week

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(www.nationalpassengersafety.org)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Passengers accounted for 62% of traffic fatalities nationwide in 2019, 
according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It’s imperative that passengers take 
responsibility for their own safety, in conjunction with being aware of how to avoid dangerous 
situations as a passenger. 

That’s why the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is participating in National Passenger Safety Week, which began Sunday, Jan. 22, and runs through Saturday, Jan. 28. 

“Passengers have the ability to keep themselves safe, and it begins with always making the 
decision to buckle up. Seat belts save lives,” ALEA’s Secretary Hal Taylor said. “This week is 
dedicated to empowering individuals to take a proactive and intentional approach to passenger safety. Sadly, there have been countless lives lost in traffic crashes that were completely 
preventable. Bringing awareness to passenger safety is truly the principal reason our Agency 
supports this important initiative. Passengers should never get into a vehicle with an impaired 
driver, and they should remember they always have a choice and the ability to discourage such 
dangerous driving behaviors as texting, speeding and even driving while drowsy.” 

National Passenger Safety Week was launched last January by We Save Lives and The National 
Road Safety Foundation, two non-profits that focus on crash prevention and saving lives. ALEA 
is joining more than 60 traffic safety and advocacy groups nationwide who are helping encourage and empower passengers to take responsibility for their own safety. This initiative includes a nationwide media blitz campaign, social media outreach and involvement from groups including the Governors Highway Safety Association, (GHSA), which represents traffic safety offices in all 50 states, the National Safety Council (NSC) and Students Against Destructive Decisions, (SADD) with more than 400,000 student members. 

Michelle Anderson, director of operations at the National Road Safety Foundation said, “Much 
of being a safe driver comes from education.” The foundation is a non-profit founded 60 years 
ago to promote safe driving behaviors through education. “When people are knowledgeable  about driving risks like impairment, speed, aggression and drowsiness, there’s a better chance 
they will avoid taking those risks or letting others do so. The National Passenger Safety 
Campaign educates and empowers passengers about how they can save lives by calling out 
unsafe driving in the vehicle before crashes happen,” she said. 

We Save Lives, founded by in 2014 by Candace Lightner, is an umbrella organization of more 
than 50 highway safety advocates, law enforcement agencies, companies, local, state, national 
and international organizations, victims/survivor groups, and others who want to stop the carnage on the nation’s highways. They have launched a number of campaigns to change driving behaviors, with National Passenger Safety Week being their latest. 

The National Road Safety Foundation produces free videos and teaching materials on distracted driving, speed and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver proficiency, pedestrian 
safety and a host of other safety issues. It also sponsors contests to engage teens in promoting 
safe driving to their peers and in their communities, partnering nationally with youth advocacy 
groups including SADD and Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). 

Visit www.nationalpassengersafety.org for more information and tips on passenger safety.