WSSRC: Twenty-Seven Years of Traffic Safety Advocacy
The Washington State Safety Restraint Coalition (WSSRC) was founded in 1985 to coordinate grassroots efforts to support passage of a seat belt law. After that goal was achieved, the coalition turned its attention to supporting educational and related activities to promote seat belt and child restraint (car seat) use. It has been granted status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit by the IRS. The Coalition staff andits board of directors are all volunteers. In 1992, Kathryn Kruger, who has been the Executive Director since 1986, received the Governor’s Excellence in Traffic Safety Award for “Lifetime Achievement” on behalf of the WSSRC.
Over time, the organization has become Washington’s independent authority on child passenger safety. It plays an essential role of promoting the correct use of child restraints and seat belts for all occupants. Its stakeholders in this state are not only the children, their parents and grandparents, but also anyone who cares about the proper transportation of children.
Washington currently has a very high level of child restraint use, thanks in large measure to the work of the WSSRC in collaboration with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, law enforcement agencies, media, and the hard-working child passenger safety advocates throughout the state.
To save lives and reduce unintentional injuries related to motor vehicles.
Passage of occupant protection laws
WSSRC was involved in the passage of Washington’s original seat belt law in 1986. WSSRC was also instrumental in advocating for several improvements to Washington’s child restraint law. The most recent of which took effect in June 2007 and requires all children to be transported in a child restraint until the child is eight years old, unless the child is four feet nine inches or taller. The enactment and enforcement of these laws have been the most effective factor in increasing restraint use.
Child Passenger Safety Technicians
WSSRC has trained more than 1700 people to be certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians and encouraged 24 of them to become instructors. These CPS advocates, in various counties/areas of the state, have been identified, encouraged and supported by the Coalition as an effective way to encourage leadership and collaborative CPS activities in local communities.
CPS Instructor and Technician update workshops
The WSSRC provides on-going training for technicians. Participants receive updates on car seats, traffic safety research, assisting parents with children who have special transportation needs, current data and technical support.
Media and community relations
The Coalition worked closely with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Together during the past 20 years, they have produced more than 100 public service announcements and numerous diverse educational and promotional videos, including training videos for the State Patrol Academy and “David, the Buckle Up Helper,” for early childhood education. A number of innovative educational materials to explain and promote booster seat use have been created in recent years, such as the child-sized booster poster, that focuses on how tall a child must be before using a seat belt.
1-800-BUCKLUP information line
WSSRC developed a statewide toll-free information line (1-800-BUCKLUP or 1-800-282-5587) to provide answers to child passenger safety questions and to help caregivers locate hands-on installation assistance.
We greatly thank our donors, grantors and program partners:
- Washington Traffic Safety Commission
- Washington State Department of Health
- Department of Transportation
- General Motors
- Ford Motor Company
- Providence Regina House
- Fred Meyer
- Babies R Us
- Toys R Us
- AAA Washington
- State Farm Insurance
- Fisher Broadcasting
- Merry Go Round Children’s Store
- PEMCO Insurance
- Washington State Safe Kids Coalition
- King County Booster Seat Coalition
- Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center
- Car Safe Kids
- Child Profile
- Seattle-King County Public Health
Awards & Affiliations
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Public Serviced Award, 1998
- Governor’s Excellence in Traffic Safety, Lifetime Achievement Award, 1991
- Development of Child Car Seat Bounty Program, National Department of Transportation Innovative Program Award
- Charter Member National Child Passenger Safety Board, Washington, DC
- Member, Washington State Safe Kids Coalition Advisory Board
- Member, Pacific Interagency Child Restraint Advisory Committee, British Columbia
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