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For Immediate Release
May 22, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

AS SUMMER DRIVING SEASON APPROACHES, ATTORNEY GENERAL CURRAN LAUNCHES "SAFE TRIP" CAMPAIGN
Public Service Campaign Highlights the Importance of Tire Safety

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., in an effort to make travel safer in Maryland this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the year, today launched a public service campaign highlighting the importance of proper tire maintenance. The "Safe Trip" campaign delivers the message that safe travel starts with safe tires and that means checking tire pressure before hitting the road.

"Improper tire inflation results in thousands of accidents each year," said Attorney General Curran. "As we approach the Memorial Day holiday weekend and the summer travel season, we must send the message that proper tire maintenance can save lives."

The "Safe Trip" campaign is a nationwide public awareness campaign on tire safety sponsored by the state Attorneys General. The campaign features television and radio ads, which will air nationwide around the three peak summer travel holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. The ads send the message that overloaded vehicles and improperly inflated tires can lead to accidents – especially in hot weather.
Funding for the "Safe Trip" campaign was set aside as part of the settlement reached in November 2001 by the Attorneys General from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia and Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 41,370 people were killed and 3,031,000 were injured on the nation's public roads and highways in the year 2001. The NHTSA estimates that proper tire inflation could have helped save about 50 to 80 lives and prevent about 6,600 to 10,600 injuries each year.

The NHTSA also found that about one of every four passenger cars on U.S. roadways are driving with one or more substantially underinflated tires, and that 27 percent of cars and 32 percent of vans, pickups, and SUVs had at least one underinflated tire.

Visit the NHTSA's web page on "Tire Safety" for information on how to check tire pressure.

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