This time of year, the familiar sight of school buses reminds me of two things: Summer is nearly over, and the importance of watching out for children near the roadways on their way to and from school.
During the school year, more children are walking neighborhood streets, riding bikes and waiting for buses. We all remember the excitement of "school's out!" While it's fun for kids, it's also dangerous. They may forget to "look both ways." That's why the AAA School Safety Patrol program, which began in 1920, is so vital to pedestrian safety. It allows Patrollers to work with adult crossing guards and police officers to ensure a safe route each school day for millions of children.
For more than 100 years, AAA has been committed to protecting pedestrians and motorists alike by working for better roads, safer cars and effective traffic laws. We pioneered and continue to lead the way on driver education, car seat safety checks, Graduated Driver Licensing for teens, and improving senior driver safety and mobility. Since 1998, our Tow to Go program has kept nearly 12,000 intoxicated drivers off the road. We successfully led the charge to pass No Texting While Driving laws in Tennessee and Georgia, and are working hard to convince Florida lawmakers that this is the right thing to do. While great progress has been made, much still needs to be done to improve the traffic safety culture.
That's why I'm pleased to announce we have formed our own charitable organization, the Auto Club South Traffic Safety Foundation. The purpose of the Foundation is to significantly and continuously reduce traffic crashes, injuries and deaths within AAA Auto Club South's service area.
Individuals and organizations that look to AAA as the leader in traffic safety will soon be able to make tax-deductible donations to the Foundation, but the gift of time is equally important. I suspect there are a good number of our members who would like to lend a hand in our community efforts, so the Foundation will soon offer volunteer opportunities should you wish to get involved in this worthwhile cause. We will provide the training, guidance and coordination to help our volunteers educate others about traffic safety, assist with child car safety seat checks, or any number of other safety-related activities.
I look forward to sharing all the details as we finalize our plans. In the meantime, I invite you to visit AAA.com/SafetyMatters to learn more about our lifesaving activities, and how we are continuing to make a positive difference in your community.
President and CEO
AAA Auto Club South