GLADSTONE, Mich (WJMN) – Kids Always Ride Safely (KARS), a program that provided child safety seat installation, instruction, and inspection to parents and guardians will be recognized for its outstanding work by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission (GTSAC) during its upcoming Traffic Safety Awards Virtual Ceremony.
The ceremony will take place via Microsoft Teams at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 27, 2021, where
KARS will receive the Richard H. Austin Long-Term Service Award. The GTSAC recognizes
organizations, programs, and individuals for outstanding involvement in traffic safety.
The work of KARS, a program that began in 2011, addressed the problem of unrestrained or
improperly restrained children in passenger vehicles. The program, which provided inspections and
installations of child safety seats for families in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.), also provided child safety
seats at a discounted cost to those who could not afford one at retail prices. In addition to the
installation of privately supplied seats, the program sold 6,688 seats to families at a steep discount.
These actions have ensured that thousands of U.P. children are better protected while traveling
in a vehicle and greatly reduces their chance of injury in a crash.
The Richard H. Austin Long-Term Service Award is named for the longest-serving secretary of
state in Michigan history (1971-1995). Austin earned a national reputation as an outstanding and
effective advocate for traffic safety.
The GTSAC was formed in 2002 to serve as the state’s forum for identifying key traffic safety
challenges and developing and implementing plans to address those issues. The commission
includes representatives from the departments of State Police, Transportation, Education, State, and Health & Human Services, as well as the Office of the Governor, the Aging and Adult Services
Agency, and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. There are also three representatives
from the local government appointed by the governor.