KPA, AAA join forces to promote traffic safety

Posted May 16, 2012

Serving our communities is still a hallmark of Kansas newspapers, so the Kansas Press Association has joined with AAA to try to make a dent in the number of fatal crashes in Kansas every year.

“Last year, we lost 386 to motor vehicle crashes in Kansas,  the equivalent of wiping out Kansas towns like Melvern,  Turon,  Linwood or Quenemo...and we’re wiping out the equivalent of one of these towns each year, year after year.,” said Jim Hanni, AAA executive vice president, public affairs. “Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death between the ages of 4 and 34, and among the top 10 causes of death for anyone. When the H1N1 virus was discovered,  the case was made to the public,  a vaccine was developed,  people responded and were vaccinated, washed hands and the virus was controlled.  Yet although far more devastating and ongoing,  we have a numb reaction to motor vehicle deaths,  which show up locally one at a time.”

To try to make a difference, AAA is providing Kansas newspapers with a monthly “tote board” to publish called “Get Outraged! Traffic Deaths Are a Public Health Epidemic!”

The PDF, shown above, will be available no later than the fourth Monday for the previous month.

“I encourage KPA members to find a sponsor or two to help pay for the monthly publication of this graphic,” said Doug Anstaett, KPA executive director. “It could be an insurance agency, a a funeral home, a local civic club ... the possibilities are limitless.”

Hanni said the campaign was devised because of a lack of attention to the problem.

“We don’t realize what’s going on around us,” he said. “At least one person in Kansas is getting killed every day,  on average.  As long as it doesn’t affect us personally, we’re not outraged. One death should concern us … but one death every 15 minutes in the U.S. is an outrage!

“But where’s the outrage? We need your help, with a more frequent “state of the State” of Kansas report to the public.”

KDOT,  the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol and AAA have joined to gather current Kansas crash death results for the month and year-to-date, along with a key facts summary and safety message.
“We will provide this to you on the Kansas Press Association website each month, no later than the fourth Monday.

“Space to sell advertising is provided,  as an incentive to participate and publish often. We believe ... you can make a difference in the quality of life of our citizens,  save millions of dollars, hundreds of lives and make a significant contribution toward the goal of zero crash deaths – because everyone matters.”

Hanni and Anstaett agree this is an appropriate partnership because of the importance of newspapers to every community in Kansas.

To retrieve the monthly PDF, go to: