Keeping Kids Safe: The Delaware Office of Highway Safety Promotes National Child Passenger Safety Week

Media Contact:

Veronica Marshall

Traffic Safety Outreach Coordinator

Veronica.Marshall@Delaware.Gov


Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children – let’s change that

OHS Promotes National Child Passenger Safety Week

September 19 – 25, 2021

Car seats save lives - but they need to be used correctly


[DOVER, Del.] September 15, 2021 — Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children, according to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. A child is involved in a crash while riding in a passenger vehicle, on average, every 25 seconds. Over the last five years (2016 – 2020), 1,242 children were admitted to Delaware hospitals as the result of a crash. On average nationally, two children under 13 were killed and an estimated 374 were injured every day in 2019 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans. 608 child passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes in 2019.

While the fatality numbers are significantly lower than they were in 2018 — a 4% decrease — there is still a lot of work to be done to keep all children safe on America’s roadways. 38% of children who died in 2019 while riding in passenger vehicles were unrestrained, compared to 33% in 2018.


Car seats save lives – but they need to be used correctly

As parents or caregivers, we want to ensure our children are as safe as possible, no matter the situation. Correctly installed car seats and booster seats are a critical component of children’s safety. When installed correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers.

But according to the NHTSA, while most caregivers are confident that they have correctly installed their child’s car seat, almost half have been installed incorrectly. Here in Delaware, four out of five child safety seats are not installed correctly.


What caregivers can do:

What caregivers can do:

“We know the list of things that parents do out of love for their children is long. Adding car seat safety to that list is essential to a child’s well-being,” says Kimberly Chesser, Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “During Child Passenger Safety Week in September, I encourage all parents and caregivers to take advantage of the free, online material that can be used to make sure children are in the right car seats for their ages and sizes, and that the seats are installed correctly. But our commitment to child passenger safety extends well beyond September. Our certified child passenger safety technicians are available for in-person or virtual seat checks year-round as well.”

“Children grow quickly, parents and caregivers should re-evaluate their car seats and booster seats routinely,” Chesser continues. “Take some time to take a second look at your car seats and booster seats. Make sure these car seats fit your children appropriately, and that they are correctly installed in your vehicle.”

On Saturday, September 25, local caregivers are invited to stop by Christiana Hospital's Newark Campus for our free our Seat Check Saturday event. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., certified child passenger safety technicians will help families correctly install car seats and booster seats.


What we’re doing:

As part of Child Passenger Safety Week, OHS is hosting a free event to make sure children are safely secured in their car seats and booster seats, and caregivers have the confidence to install those seats independently.

On Saturday, September 25, local caregivers are invited to stop by Christiana Hospital’s Newark Campus for our free our Seat Check Saturday event.

From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., certified child passenger safety technicians will help families correctly install car seats and booster seats. The technicians will also help register attendee’s child safety seats, and check if the seats have been part of a recall or if they have expired.

If caregivers are unable to come to this event, they can schedule a one-on-one in-person or virtual seat check.

 


delaware office of highway safety logo

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. Follow OHS on ArriveAliveDE.comFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat.


Governor Carney, City of Wilmington, and DEMA Announce Flood Assistance Programs

Resources announced following Recovery Resource Fair where agencies connected with more than 200 households

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Wednesday more than 200 households affected by last week’s storm found assistance at the Disaster Recovery Resource Fair hosted by the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), the City of Wilmington, and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) at The Warehouse. Over 20 agencies and local partners were in attendance to ensure those affected by flooding had access to the resources they need.

Two additional resources were also announced to help Wilmington families with recovery efforts:

  • DEMA announced a new Flood Cleanup Assistance program that will provide cleanup services for qualifying households through the Milford Housing Development Corporation. 
  • The City of Wilmington announced a toll-free Crisis Cleanup Hotline (1-844-965-1386) to serve as a clearinghouse for all the muck out, tear out, and water removal needs of those directly affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

“Homeowners and renters along the Brandywine have faced significant challenges from the flooding last week, and that’s why we are all working to connect them with resources and help them through this difficult recovery process,” said Governor Carney. “We’re grateful for the local, state, and community partners across Delaware who are helping our neighbors in Wilmington, and for standing up these important resources that will help residents with cleanup efforts in the affected areas.”

 

DE Flood Cleanup Assistance

DEMA’s Flood Assistance Program is an effort funded by the state’s EmergencyManagement Resilience Fund. Cleanup services by DEMA in coordination with the Milford Housing Development Corporation may include:

  • Mucking
  • Removal of damaged drywall
  • Moisture control of affected areas
  • Minor structural repairs
  • Insurance deductible assistance

“This was a life-altering event for many Wilmington residents, and we know that they are hurting and need assistance. We are working to bring all available resources to bear including local, state, federal, volunteer, and non-profit partners, to help address immediate needs and begin long term recovery,” said AJ Schall, Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. “The Milford Housing Development Corporation was a fantastic partner assisting with recovery efforts following Tropical Storm Isaias last summer. We are pleased to be able to partner with them again to assist the survivors from last week’s flooding with cleanup to start them on the path to recovery.”

Residents should apply for DEMA’s Flood Assistance Program by calling: 1-844-413-0038. Eligibility for this program includes those living in single households earning less than $52,000 per year, with a higher limit for families. Individuals will also need to show proof of residency in the area outlined here: Along the East side of Northeast Boulevard to 17th Street, from 17th to Bowers, from Bowers to E. 12th Street, from E. 12th Street to Pullman and from Pullman to Northeast Boulevard.

Click here to view a map of the eligible areas.

Mayor Mike Purzycki and the City of Wilmington’s emergency management team also announced a toll-free Crisis Cleanup Hotline number to serve as a clearinghouse for all the muck out, tear out, and water removal needs of those directly affected by the storm. Residents needing assistance can call 1-844-965-1386 to be connected with local volunteer groups that may assist with:  

  • Cutting fallen trees
  • Removing drywall, flooring and appliances
  • Tarping roofs
  • Mold mitigation

Hurricane Ida Home Cleanup - 844-965-1386In partnership with the Delaware Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (DEVOAD), these services are performed by volunteers and will be provided at no cost to the resident. Service is not guaranteed, and resources are limited. After providing your information to the Hotline, residents may be contacted by a representative from a participating organization who will determine if they are able to provide assistance.

“It’s a difficult task to pull lives and properties back together again following natural and unexpected disasters,” said City of Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “The past several days have tested the ability of the community and government to come together as quickly as possible to assist affected residents and businesses. We have a great deal of work to do, but the City and State are committed to the tasks and challenges ahead.”

 

The Crisis Cleanup Hotline will remain open with extended hours until Friday, October 1, 2021, though residents can call and leave a message at any time and a volunteer will return the call as soon as possible.

This hotline does not provide help with social services such as food, clothing, and shelter. For food assistance or other social services, please contact the Social Services Call Center: 302-571-4900. Deaf or Hearing-Impaired individuals can call 7-1-1 and give the Customer Service Call Center number. Residents should continue to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

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Severe Weather Possible Wednesday into Thursday

Updated 8/31/2021 at 6:00pm

Smyrna, DE – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) along with local, state, and federal partners, are closely monitoring the remnant low from Hurricane Ida.  We continue to coordinate with the counties and key state agencies to ensure readiness if the system worsens.  The main threats are anticipated to include rain, flooding, and severe thunderstorms.  A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for all of Delaware from Wednesday morning through Thursday afternoon.  Flooding is expected in creeks, streams, urban areas, and poor drainage areas.   There is an increased risk of severe weather for Delaware Wednesday evening and night including strong to severe thunderstorms causing downed trees and power lines, as well as increased potential for tornadoes.  Plan ahead now and be prepared.

  Event summary including potential threats of rain, flooding, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes.Rainfall estimates from the storm ranging from 4 inches for New Castle County to 1 inch in Sussex County.Excessive Rainfall Outlook showing moderate risk (flash floods likely) and slight risk south of Dover. from Dover north, and Severe Weather Outlook showing most of Delaware in the Enhanced Risk category for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

 

 
 
 
How to Prepare:
  • Clear drains and gutters and check sump pumps
  • Never drive through flood water: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Be prepared to act if Tornado Warnings or other severe weather warnings are issued.

Make A Plan – preparede.org/make-a-plan

  • Make a plan for where you would go if you had to leave your home due to an evacuation or if it sustained damage.  Know how and where to shelter if a Tornado Warning is issued, go to Ready.gov/tornadoes for more.
  • Communicate and practice your plan with family.
  • Have a list of emergency contacts and copies of important documents.

Make An Emergency Kit – preparede.org/make-a-kit

  • Make sure that you have emergency supplies, such as food and water, for each member of your family (and pets) to last for at least 3 days.
  • Have flashlights in case of power outages and fully charged power banks to charge electronic devices.

Stay Informed

For more preparedness tips: PrepareDE.org
 
For weather updates from the National Weather Service: weather.gov/phi
 
For updates on the roads: https://deldot.gov/ and through their app https://deldot.gov/mobile/.
 
Follow Delaware Emergency Management Agency on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
 
Contact: Jeff Sands, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, 302-659-2211.


“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Emphasizes Planning Ahead for a Safer Labor Day

The annual awareness and educational effort offer tips for preparing for a safe holiday weekend, plus a new online tool that demonstrates the various dangers of impaired driving.

DOVER, Del. (Aug. 20, 2021) — Labor Day weekend is historically one of the deadliest times of the year on roadways in Delaware and nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Labor Day weekend typically generates an increase in drunk-driving deaths. During the 2019 holiday, 451 traffic deaths occurred nationwide, with 45% of those involving a driver who had been drinking. During the 2020 Labor Day holiday weekend in Delaware, there were 76 impaired-related crashes, resulting in 46 injuries and five fatalities.

The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), in partnership with NHTSA, has once again activated the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impaired-driving campaign with the objective of protecting people from the dangers of impaired driving as they travel on Delaware roadways. The campaign aims to transform risky driving behaviors into responsible actions that can prevent crashes, injuries, and death – as well as fines and other penalties. The campaign and mobilization launched on Wednesday, Aug. 18, and continues through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign:

  • Educates the public on impaired driving laws and the potential consequences of driving while under the influence.
  • Demonstrates the dangers of impaired driving through interactive tools — such as OHS’ new “When You Drink and Drive, You’re Not All There” Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tool.
  • Encourages people to plan ahead if they plan on drinking or hosting an event with alcohol to ensure everyone has a safe ride home.

Celebrating Success – and Maintaining it

“According to NHTSA, one person is killed approximately every 52 minutes in a drunk-driving crash, totaling more than 10,100 lives lost each year,” said Kimberly Chesser, Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety. “However, in 2019, these numbers reached their lowest percentage since 1982, the year NHTSA first began reporting alcohol data. This demonstrates that we all have the power to change and prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities. One of the greatest motivations is knowing that your responsible behavior can make a positive impact. This is why, especially during this year’s Labor Day mobilization and campaign, we are working to empower Delawareans to focus on the positive change people can make – and are making – one driver at a time.”

The combination of Labor Day weekend being the unofficial “last hurrah” of the summer season coupled with people longing to get outdoors and socialize after 18 stressful months of the COVID-19 pandemic is a recipe for potential disaster. OHS suggests Delawareans include the “Arrive Alive” strategy as part of their overall holiday planning.

 

OHS offers these tools and tips for planning, driving, and hosting responsibly:

  1. Designate and/or “download” your driver. Determine your preferred source for getting a safe ride to and from your destination if you decide to drink.
    • Relying on a friend: Connect with them ahead of time to ensure they don’t plan on drinking.
    • Using a rideshare service such as Uber, Lyft, or NHTSA’s SaferRide: Download the mobile app (for Android devices and iOS) to your phone before you head out to celebrate.
    • Calling a cab: Keep a list of local cab options on your phone.
  2. If you’re serving alcohol, help guests at your gathering get home safely. Party hosts can create a unique rideshare code to offer guests a sober ride home. If that is beyond your budget, make signs listing cab companies with phone numbers and a public transportation schedule to hang in your restroom, on your door, and near your drink station.
  3. Be a friend. If you see someone drinking too much and/or behaving as if they have, keep them from getting behind the wheel. Take their keys and call them a cab or arrange for a ridesharing option.
  4. Be in the “smart seat.” If you’re heading out as a driver or passenger, always buckle your seat belt before starting the vehicle. On the road, if you see a vehicle swerving, speeding, going excessively slow, or somehow indicating its driver may be under the influence, pull over immediately and call 9-1-1.
  5. Be aware of when you’re “not all there.” You can’t trust yourself when you drink. Put the keys away and grab a sober friend, call a taxi, or take public transportation home.

young man sitting in driver's seat holding a steering wheel imitating stepping on a gas pedal in an invisible car.young man sitting in driver's seat holding a steering wheel imitating stepping on a gas pedal in an invisible car.

Visit OHS’ new “When You Drink and Drive, You’re Not All There” Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tool. Use this tool, available in both English and Spanish by activating the language toggle icon, to explore impairing effects on different parts of the body and learn how critical driving skills deteriorate when a person reaches varying levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

 

 

Impaired Driving Statistics for Delaware

Over the period of five years, from 2016 to 2020, September was the deadliest month of the year on Delaware roadways. 48% of impaired crashes occurred between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., with 58% occurring on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. In terms of age, 31% of impaired drivers were 20 to 29 years old.

 

Media Contacts:

AB&C, Jenn Buchman, jbuchman@abccreative.com

DOHS, Veronica Marshall, veronica.marshall@delaware.gov

 

delaware office of highway safety logo

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. Follow OHS on ArriveAliveDE.comFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat.


Governor Carney Signs Body Camera Legislation

House Bill 195 requires law enforcement to wear and use body cameras

NEWARK, Del. –  Alongside members of law enforcement, advocates and members of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Governor John Carney signed legislation requiring police officers and certain employees of the Department of Correction and the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families to wear and use a body camera. Body cameras will be used to record interactions with members of the public in accordance with the regulations that will be established by the Council on Police Training. Governor Carney supported this proposal in his 2021 State of the State Address.

 

“Here in Delaware, we look out for each other because we care for our neighbors,” said Governor Carney. “We can do great things if we work together, and this legislation shows that we are moving forward productively. Thank you to the members of the General Assembly and the Delaware Black Caucus, Attorney General Jennings, advocates and law enforcement for your leadership on this important piece of legislation.”

This Act requires state agencies to implement the statewide body camera program through the procurement of cameras, development of a central data storage program, and provision of necessary personnel. Governor Carney’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget includes $3.6 million for the development and deployment of body cameras.  

“Body-worn cameras have the ability to be a game-changer in police-community relations. They greatly improve transparency and accountability, while providing increased protection for both the police and the community,” said Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker. “There is a reason that law enforcement, community members, and lawmakers all have advocated for universal body camera usage throughout our state, and we are seeing the result of that collaborative effort here today. This is a part of the Delaware Legislative Black Caucus’ Justice for All Agenda, and I’m very grateful to see it come to fruition.”

“The Delaware Legislative Black Caucus made a commitment last summer to advance legislation that improves transparency and accountability in policing,” said Senator Darius Brown. “This legislation helps to do both, and I thank Governor Carney for signing this bill into law today.”

“This is a good day for accountability,” said Attorney General Jennings. “Everyone in this state — advocates, police, prosecutors, and the public — agrees that body cameras are good for transparency, good for trust, and good for justice. We worked hard for more than a year to design this program and I am eternally grateful to the advocates who called for change, to the legislators who took up the cause, to the Governor who ensured the initiative was funded, and to the police leaders who worked to get this legislation across the finish line.”

“While there is still work to be done, the signage of this legislation is the next step in our States continuing efforts to promote accountability, transparency, and legitimacy,” said Secretary McQueen of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. “It will also enable Delaware Law Enforcement to continue to build trust and foster positive relationships within our communities.  

“The FOP is appreciative for the opportunity to be a part the discussions surrounding this legislation,” said Lt. Jamie Leonard, President of the Delaware State F.O.P. Lodge. “We wholeheartedly agree that body cameras will help increase transparency and accountability for our police officers and the public we serve. We would like to thank the Sponsors of this legislation, and all the members of the General Assembly, for ensuring this bill’s passage. The FOP recognizes the financial burden this legislation could have placed upon many towns and municipalities therefore, we are thankful to Governor Carney for making the funding of this initiative a priority. We look forward to working with all the stakeholders as we join efforts to create a model policy which benefits all Delawareans, citizens and police officers alike.”   

“The Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative is proud to work alongside so many individuals and organizations in the fight for racial justice,” said the Delaware Racial Justice Collaborative. “Today, we celebrate a great win and make Delaware a trailblazer in the nation by holding both police and citizens accountable through body worn cameras.” 

Photos from today’s bill signing can be found here.  

Re-watch the bill signing ceremony here

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