Sesame Street, Kidsafe (the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia), and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) will combine in a campaign to improve parental awareness on child restraints.
The new relationship will be fronted by Sesame Street's boisterous blue monster, Grover, in his role as Road Safety Ambassador in support of the UN's Decade of Action for Road Safety.
The Victorian Minister for Roads, The Hon. Terry Mulder was joined by Sesame Street favorites Cookie Monster and Elmo, today at Parliament House, to announce this important effort.
The Sesame Street duo is in Australia for the 42nd season of Sesame Street which enjoys a worldwide audience in 150 countries.
Mr Mulder said, "Research shows that correctly fitted and used child restraints and booster seats can reduce child death and serious injury when involved in a road crash."
"With 70,568 births registered in Victoria in 2010 (ABS), annually, many thousands of parents are faced with making a decision on which child restraint is the most appropriate for their child."
Studies suggest that an alarming majority of drivers install or use child restraints incorrectly and graduate their children to adult seatbelts too early.
Minister Mulder praised the involvement of Sesame Street, saying that for over forty years in 150 countries, the program had been a household name, instrumental in creating and promoting positive information for children to increase their well-being.
Kidsafe, TAC and Sesame Street plan to develop a campaign featuring Grover in a community service announcement to promote key safety messages about the correct installation and operation of child restraints to maximise safety.
The safety messages will also reach an expanded audience through the use of the internet and printed material to target early childhood services and maternal and child health centres.
Robert Knezevic, Vice President International Project Manager Sesame Workshop said, "The Decade of Action is a critical opportunity for a coordinated response among our global partners to mobilise media to promote road safety awareness among road users, especially families with young children."
Robert Caulfield, President of Kidsafe Victoria said, "The campaign between Sesame Street and Kidsafe, with the support of the TAC and the Victorian Government, provides a unique opportunity to build on the positive relationship today's parents under the age of 42 have had with Sesame Street themselves as children."
The first stage of the campaign is expected to be released in November.