Child Passenger Safety Awards Presented to 'Lifesavers' at Roadway Safety Conference

National Child Passenger Safety Board recognized Technician, Instructor and Team of the Year winners.

April 08, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A quick glance at the U.S. map shows them to be miles apart. A quick look into their hearts shows them to be capable of bridging any distance. While Delilah Darland, Danielle Kessenger and the child passenger safety team at Safe Kids Western North Carolina work out of triangular points spread across the country, they come together as one for the safe transportation of children.

Darland, Kessenger and Safe Kids Western North Carolina are recognized today as the National Child Passenger Safety Technician, Instructor and Team of the Year award winners. The awards are presented by the National Child Passenger Safety Board each year at the Lifesavers Conference on Roadway Safety. Toyota Motor North America is the presenting sponsor.

“The individuals and team members we salute today are all about the mission of preventing unnecessary injuries to children,” National Child Passenger Safety Board Chair Jim Savage said. “They have made it priority to provide car seat education and training to parents and caregivers. They have given their time and talents to support others working to keep kids safe. Because they have put safety first today, we can look forward to a better tomorrow.”

Technician of the Year: Darland, a resident of Yellow Jacket, Colorado, was selected based on the following criteria: 1. Her commitment to education, 2. Her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, 3. Her body of work – she assisted more than 350 families through public outreach events, individual appointments and car seat checkups in 2023.

Instructor of the Year: Kessenger, from Jacksonville, Florida, launched Silver Linings Safety in July 2023, a company focused on the development and revitalization of child passenger safety programs in north Florida and southeast Georgia. She has taught more than 40 Child Passenger Safety Technician certification courses and trained more than 250 students in the field of special needs transportation.

Team of the Year: Safe Kids Western North Carolina, a team led by Beverly Hopps and Vickie Killough, serves parents and caregivers in 16 primarily rural counties with populations ranging from 8,000 to 300,000. Child poverty rates rank above the state average in 13 of those counties. During the last year and a half, the team assisted hundreds of families with car seat education specific to their child, vehicle and car seat, much of this done through car seat checkup events and through consultations with families of children with special transportation needs. Team members also educated transit bus drivers and social services workers and provided educational materials to many others, including migrant workers, teen parents and low-income families.

“Car seats – when used properly – reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities to kids involved in crashes,” Savage said. “These dedicated individuals, through their everyday interactions, make a difference in the lives of so many healthy and happy children. I’d like to personally thank them for going that extra mile. They have built a bridge to safety.”

Learn more about the award recipients and nominees for the 2024 National CPS Awards here

About the National Child Passenger Safety Board
The National Child Passenger Safety Board’s mission is to save lives and prevent injuries by promoting child passenger safety through education, mentorship, engagement and innovation. The Board’s work is managed by the National Safety Council. For more information about child passenger safety or the National CPS Board, please visit the Board’s website at www.cpsboard.org.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for 110 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace and roadways. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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