Safe Kids Buckle Up, the comprehensive child passenger safety program of Safe Kids USA in partnership with General Motors, received a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Public Service Award today at the annual Lifesavers highway safety conference in Nashville, according to a recent press release. The award recognizes Safe Kids Buckle Up’s “outstanding contributions to the safety of America’s children on and off the road and for leadership in improving occupant protection legislation.”

This is the third prominent national award received by Safe Kids Buckle Up in less than a year. In September 2008, the program was honored with a Governors Highway Safety Association Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Award. And in June 2008, the program was recognized with a Safety Leadership Award from the National Transportation Safety Board to honor the program’s achievement of installing more than one million child safety seats for families across the country.

“In 1997 Safe Kids and General Motors joined together to create a hands-on vehicle safety program of unprecedented scope,” said Edwin K. Zechman, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Children’s National Medical Center, the parent organization of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Today, Safe Kids Buckle Up has grown into the largest and most comprehensive child passenger safety program of its kind. Far more than a million children in communities across the country have been better protected in and around vehicles because of this innovative partnership. General Motors is to be commended for its long-term support and dedication to the prevention of child injuries.”

Safe Kids Buckle up has been inspecting child safety seats for correct installation and educating families about how to be safer in and around vehicles since 1997. Over the past 12 years, Safe Kids has held approximately 52,000 vehicle safety events for families and checked more than a million car seats for proper installation. The program has also donated more than 367,000 child safety seats to families in need. In addition, the program has created innovative activities that go beyond crash protection by educating families on other dangers children face in and around vehicles such as hyperthermia and back-over/roll-over risks.