Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tulsa Tops in Coverage for Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Day

The City of Tulsa topped media coverage for the
to promote safe driving behaviors on neighborhood streets, and beyond.

Check out these links for stories:

Participating communities include:

  • New Berlin, WI (Their 12th year of growing Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 in their community),
  • Lisbon, WI in cooperation with Waukesha County Sheriff's Dept.
  • Phoenixville, PA
  • Omaha, NE
  • Exeter, PA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Atlanta, GA (SafeAmerica Foundation)
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Pocatello, ID
  • GEICO-Lakeland, FL
  • Van Nuys, CA (Pinecrest Schools)
  • O'Fallon, MO
  • Ridgewood, NJ (Safe Routes to Schools)
  • Idaho Dept. of Transportation
  • Wentzville, MO
"Don't let the 2 minutes you 'save' be the last 2 minutes of someone's life."
David Townsend (Tia's dad)

In safety,
Tom Everson
Keep Kids Alive Drive 25

Friday, April 29, 2011

Federal Highway Administration Recognizes Keep Kids Alive Drive 25

The City of Arlington, VA was recognized as one of the top 5 pedestrian-friendly communities in the U.S. Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 is highlighted as a big reason why they achieved this designation. See FHWA Recognizes Walk-Friendly Cities.

Find out how you can integrate Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 into your walk-friendly efforts at

"Don't let the 2 minutes you 'save' be the last 2 minutes of someone's life." David Townsend (Tia's dad)

In safety,
Tom Everson

Keep Kids Alive Drive 25®
- A Non-Profit "For Action" Organization 501(c)(3)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Do You Love to Drive to Keep Kids Alive?

In a recent essay, Jerome Kodell, in part, writes the following:

"Love is not easy to do, but it is quite simple to understand. It means wanting what is best for the other and doing what is best for the other...Love is a matter of decisions and actions. Love is a dying to oneself and one's wishes and preferences, putting the other first."

What do these thoughts have to do with driving?

Quite simply, if we truly "love" to drive, then our behaviors behind the wheel will first and foremost reflect our concern for the lives and safety of others. Our love for driving will set aside desires to see how fast we can go, how quickly we can arrive at a destination, how many people we can talk to or text on our cell phone, how many stop signs and signals we can ignore, how close we can creep up on the driver in front of us without hitting their vehicle, or how we can show the world that we really can drink and drive (and so many other behaviors that put others and ourselves at risk). We will put others first - passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, children at play, other motorists.

Our love for driving reflects itself best when we expect the best from our behavior and drive to keep others (and ourselves) alive. This means we have expectations for both ourselves and others. These include:

-Buckling up every one every trip, no matter the distance
-Making sure children are outfitted with appropriate safety and booster seats
-Checking the area around the entire car, van, truck to make sure that no one is in danger of being backed or run over
-Turning off cell phones. There is no reason to talk or text and drive
-Never drive after consuming alcohol
-Observe speed limits, and drive slower when pedestrians, cyclists, children at play are present
-Stop! Take 3 To See at every stop sign, whether someone is present or not. It's good practice. We only become good at what we repeatedly practice. Stop signs, stop lights, and obeying all traffic signs are great opportunities to put our love for driving into practice each time we are on the road.
-Remember, "It's Not A Race! Create Space." 29% of injury crashes are the result of poor space management, including following too close. Leave a three second cushion between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. Leaving space to react is within your control, and could well save a life - maybe even your own.

These are just a few examples of what a true "love" for driving would look like. Please add to this blog by sharing your own examples of what it looks like that demonstrates how you love to drive to keep kids alive.

"Don't let the 2 minutes you 'save' be the last 2 minutes of someone's life." David Townsend (Tia's dad)

In safety,
Tom Everson

Keep Kids Alive Drive 25®
- A Non-Profit "For Action" Organization 501(c)(3)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


A friend shared his experience of going skiing for the first time. When he exited the ski lift at the top of a run, he encountered a sign, most likely posted on the advice of a well-intentioned lawyer. The sign read:


My friend commented that upon seeing this message he thought, "this should be on the wristband of every newborn as they leave the hospital."

How true! As parents we need constant reminders that unseen obstacles and unknown hazards do indeed exist at every stage of development, for both our children and for ourselves as parents.

I think of this as it applies to granting a license to drive to a teenager, or a new driver of any age. This warning of unseen obstacles and unknown hazards existing as we venture on to roadways each day is one that should be etched into every dashboard as a reminder that there is much that we do not control when behind the wheel - especially the driving behavior of others.

However, when we have knowledge - such as this warning - we also have the opportunity, or responsibility, to do all that is in our power to do, to heed the warning and adjust our driving behaviors accordingly. What it comes down to is simple; traffic laws are basically written with knowledge that unseen obstacles and unknown hazards exist each and every time we get behind the wheel. With this in mind, we can act on this knowledge by:

-Obeying speed limits in all speed zones, and going slower whenever we encounter pedestrians, bicyclists, and children playing.
-Creating space between our own vehicle and those around us. After all, we are not actually in a race, so it's okay to create space. The life saved may be our own.
-Buckle up every trip, every time, no matter the distance. And make sure all passengers do the same. There are only 2 questions to ask and answer when it comes to buckling up:

1. Who do you love?
2. Who loves you?

It's all about relationships - preserving these relationships with our loved ones. That's what makes the ultimate difference at the end of each day.

-Be Aware! Drive With Care - Don't engage in distractions while driving - this means all cell phone use, eating, fiddling with technology of any kind, personal grooming, allowing pets to ride on our laps (and certainly children as well).
-Stop completely at each and every stop sign (Stop! Take 3 To See)
-Stop at stop lights
-Don't drink and drive or ride with a driver who has been drinking.

Practicing these behaviors allows us the presence of mind and sight to deal with the unseen obstacles and unknown hazards that routinely pop up out of nowhere whenever we drive. Knowing this, and responding accordingly, allows us to heed the warning, knowing that unseen obstacles and unknown hazards are to be expected. Let each of us drive as if we embrace this truth, just as we look forward to returning home from each and every trip to embrace the ones we love.

"Don't let the 2 minutes you 'save' be the last 2 minutes of someone's life." David Townsend - Tia's dad.

In safety,
Tom Everson
Keep Kids Alive Drive 25

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Keep Compassion Alive

Dear Friends,

The past few days I had the privilege of representing Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 at a regional conference of The Compassionate Friends (TCF). The Compassionate Friends is committed to grief support in the wake of the death of a child.

Every parent I met at TCF shared a story of the death of a daughter or son. Children died as a result of suicide, of cancer, of heart defects, blood diseases, and many additional medical ailments. Yet, far and away, the majority of parents shared stories of the death of a child as a result of a motor vehicle incident. Some children died as a result of a drunk driver, of speeding, of distracted driving, of not wearing a seat belt, of being backed over, and many other incidents. What all have in common is that they are loved by family who will never forget just how much they care about their son, daughter, brother, sister, grandchild.

Every parent wore a badge with the face of their child. Every child's face invited others to ask, "what is your story?" And stories of great love and compassion flowed, filled with tears, memories, sometimes smiles, and anecdotes about what makes their child unique, special, and loved forever.

It is easy to lose sight of the great love we each have for our children, until a day comes when we cannot hug and hold them, to revel in their ready smile, dry their tears, listen to their fears, and celebrate their goodness along with their accomplishments. Unless we have walked in the shoes of parents who have experienced the death of a child, there is no way we can know, no way we can even begin to approximate, what it feels like to live each day in the absence of one who was, and still is, loved unconditionally, without reservation. What these parents teach us is that even in the midst of cursing the darkness it is possible to light a candle - to let the love that is their child continue to spread goodness, beauty, and truth into a world that is hungry to know all three, and can begin to do so by embracing the wonder, the love, the creativity, the caring, the compassion, and so much more, that children who have died continue to offer us as gift as we live our lives each day.

This reminds me of why Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 exists - to keep compassion alive through each and every action we make behind the wheel. Why? Because each and every action does indeed make a difference in keeping ourselves and others alive so that all have the opportunity to return home to the embrace of the ones we love and the ones who love us.

As many know, each year we engage in a "Run to Remember" up Pike's Peak in honor and memory of all loved ones who have died in motor vehicle incidents. As we prepare for the journey upward on August 20th of this year, I invite you to join in solidarity with the families of all we have encountered through Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 along with all those families we may never meet and put compassion into action each time you get behind the wheel. And what does this compassion look like?

Quite simply, it looks like:

-Putting all distractions aside (cell phones - hands-free included, I-pods, food, make-up, pets, and so much more) and make driving your only priority
-Not speeding, and going slower when kids are around in neighborhoods, or when weather or other conditions dictate that we slow down on any kind of roadway
-Stopping at every stop sign - Stop! Take 3 To See
-Obeying every stop light and other traffic signals and signs
-Buckling up every one, every trip - no matter the distance
-Remembering that "It's not a race, so create space." 29% of injury crashes are the result of poor space management
-Never drinking and driving. It's simple, if you drink, don't drive.

I'm sure you can add dozens of other examples. I hope these few encourage each of us to be aware and drive with care. The person to whom it matters most is waiting for us at home.

I also invite your support as as a sponsor for our "Run to Remember." Your donation helps to underwrite the costs associated with providing a "Run to Remember" t-shirt to all surviving family members of those we run to remember - whose names we carry on the back of these shirts. We need to raise at least $7,500 to meet our commitment to families this year. You can make an immediate donation at "Run to Remember Donate." Click on the Donate button.

Thank you for all you do to keep compassion alive each day through your driving behaviors as well as your willingness to listen to and support families who have experienced the death of a child.

"Don't let the 2 minutes you 'save' be the last 2 minutes of someone's life." David Townsend (Tia's dad)

In safety,
Tom Everson
Executive Director
Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 - A Non-Profit "For Action" Organization 501c3