CHP, 21st Century Insurance and Erik Estrada Bring Child Safety Tour to LA Auto Show

December 31, 2003

Furthering their commitment to automotive safety, 21st Century Insurance and the California Highway Patrol brought their statewide campaign on child seat safety to the L.A. Auto Show with a hands-on, visually appealing safety clinic as the finale to the convention’s media day program this week. The demonstration by CHP Officers featured common mistakes made by parents when installing and using car seats as well as life-saving tips on how to properly transport young children in motor vehicles.

At a press conference, representatives from 21st Century Insurance and the CHP described their unique partnership on child seat safety and previewed their shared booth in Kentia Hall. Throughout the Auto Show, visitors can see child safety seat demonstrations by specially trained CHP officers and can receive helpful tips and information on selecting the right seat by picking up a copy of 21st Century’s Child Safety Seat Parent’s Guide.

Since 2002, 21st Century, the CHP and Erik Estrada conducted an extensive public service campaign to promote knowledge and compliance with California’s child safety seat law.

That law requires a child passenger restraint (child safety seat or booster seat) to be used on all children until they are at least 6 years old or 60 pounds. At safety fairs conducted in underserved communities throughout California, CHP officers will inspect and, if necessary, replace and install a new car seat donated by 21st Century.

“Recent national statistics show that over 80 percent of children in vehicles are unrestrained or buckled up incorrectly,” stated CHP Commissioner D.O. “Spike” Helmick. “A child safety seat, properly installed, can make the difference between a safe, healthy child and one that’s injured or killed,” added Helmick.

In the last two years, the CHP has conducted more than 1,600 inspections, removed and destroyed over 800 hazardous seats, and 21st Century has donated more than 1,000 new seats to California families. In 2004, eight more safety seat fairs will be conducted, starting on Jan. 10 at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, with the National Hockey League’s Mighty Ducks teaming up to promote the cause.

Joining 21st Century and the CHP at every safety seat fair and at this year’s Auto Show is actor Erik Estrada, who joined the program due to his concerns as a parent and his long-standing identification with the CHP. At an Auto Show press conference, Estrada stated, “It is a documented fact that child safety seats save lives. As the father of a young child, I urge every parent to get the right car seats for their children! As well, always make sure child safety seats are installed safely and correctly.”

Stemming from the success of the child safety seat fairs, the CHP and 21st Century have partnered on several additional automotive safety projects.

For the last two holiday seasons, the partnership has extended to California billboards with a series of advertisements to remind drivers to use safety seats for their children as well as to avoid drinking and driving. Earlier in 2003, the law enforcement agency and L.A.-based auto insurer focused their attention on the growing number of accidents caused by distracted drivers and launched a series of lighthearted outdoor advertisements encouraging people to “Just Drive.”

“At 21st Century Insurance, the safety of all motorists and passengers on the road is a huge priority,” said Joyce Prager, community relations director. “As a California-based company, we are committed to helping our fellow Californians obtain proper car seats and additional life-saving advice on how to protect their young children and themselves while driving.”

In addition to 21st Century’s safety efforts with the Highway Patrol, the insurer will debut its 2004 Crash Test Ratings Guide at the Auto Show. The guide compiles crash test data from the Insurance Information Institute for 2004 autos, vans, and SUVs and recommends the “Best Pick” for safety conscious consumers in each category of vehicle based on the crash test results.

Also available to Auto Show patrons will be The Free Guides of 21st, which will feature highlights from the 2004 Crash Test Ratings Guide, the Child Safety Seat Parent’s Guide, as well as the company’s Consumer’s Guide to Buying California Auto Insurance, a handy step-by-step guide to help consumers get the best rate and coverage for their car. Later in 2004, 21st Century and the CHP will debut The Golden Road, which provides senior drivers, their families and caregivers with useful tips to ensure continued safety behind the wheel.

All of 21st Century Insurance’s consumer guides can be obtained by contacting the company’s Web site, .

In addition to all the auto safety information and demonstrations available at 21st Century’s booth in Kentia Hall, visitors will be treated to an exhibit of the CHP Funny Car and the Ford XJ220 Concept Car. 21st Century representatives will be available to assist visitors with a free on-line auto insurance quote and Estrada will be on hand to sign autographs for fans on Jan. 3, 4, and 11.

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