In thinking about commercial truck safety in Ohio and nationally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is quite obviously focused on the long term.
That is certainly evident from one strategy employed by the agency to place attention on industry safety and reduce truck accidents: have kids engage in safety belt-related art work.
Although that might sound a bit disjointed at first glance, it actually makes a great deal of sense following some reflection on a recent FMCSA initiative and the underlying reasons for it.
The federal regulator has seized on the idea of urging kids nationwide to try their hand at artwork with a safety theme. Its recently announced "Be Ready. Be Buckled" campaign solicits artistic efforts from children across the country who are enrolled in school from grades kindergarten through sixth grade.
Those children must have relatives in the commercial transportation industry or an industry sponsor. That requirement ensures at the outset that a large number of adults who drive trucks and buses are familiar with the program. That element alone could very well be safety-enhancing.
And then there is of course the focus of a younger generation on the subject matter at hand, which could pay dividends, well, down the road.
"[T]his contest is a great way to engage our kids in a conversation about the importance of buckling up before every trip," says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
And then, too, there is the calendar, which will be the end result of all that effort. After judging, twelve children will ultimately have their work featured in the "Be Ready. Be Buckled." calendar.
Source: fmcsa.dot.gov, "FMCSA launches annual 'Be Ready. Be Buckled.' safety belt art contest for kids," Dec. 4, Contact: Marissa Padilla