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Chuggington Leads Kid-Focused Traffic Safety Campaign

Ludorum plc, creators of the popular animated television series Chuggington, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the government agency that works toward making roadways safer, announced at a press conference today at Tubman Elementary School a joint, multi-dimensional campaign designed to provide child transportation guidance to families with young children preschool-aged to third grade.

Press Release from Ludorum plc

WASHINGTON – September 22, 2011 – Ludorum plc, creators of the popular animated television series Chuggington, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the government agency that works toward making roadways safer, announced at a press conference today at Tubman Elementary School a joint, multi-dimensional campaign designed to provide child transportation guidance to families with young children preschool-aged to third grade. The announcement coincides with NHTSA’s 2011 Child Passenger Safety Week (September 18-24).

Appropriately named ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!,’ the national campaign uses Chuggington’s popular characters to help parents teach their children how to use many of NHTSA’s recommended pedestrian, school bus, bike and car seat safety guidelines as they go about their daily activities. The cornerstone of the campaign is a traffic safety pledge for kids, which is a promise to always buckle up, wear a helmet and cross the street with an adult. Parents can access the pledge at www.chuggington.com/safety, a new microsite featuring interactive safety games and activities for kids.

Online resources for parents include topic-specific safety tip sheets so parents can easily stay up-to-date on the latest traffic safety guidance, and a printable activity book for kids that will help mom and dad reinforce important traffic safety lessons in a fun and engaging way. To access these resources and more safety tips, parents can visit www.nhtsa.gov/parents.

The goal of ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe’ campaign is to help save children’s lives. Although traffic accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for children ages one through 12, educating families about traffic safety has proven successful in reducing these fatalities. According to NHTSA research, motor vehicle fatalities for the 14-and-younger age group decreased three percent between 2008 and 2009 while the number of pedalcyclist fatalities for the same age group decreased nine percent. During that timeframe, pedestrian fatalities for the same demographic decreased nine percent, with the 4- to 7-year-old age group showing the largest decrease (11 percent).

“I'm thrilled to launch this new partnership with Chuggington, which will help us get our traffic safety message to young children and parents alike,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Educating children at an early age about the importance of wearing a helmet, looking both ways when crossing the street, and buckling up leads to a lifetime of good traffic safety habits."

“Chuggington’s characters learn important life lessons in every episode of the show and often earn badges as rewards for appropriate behavior,” said Dick Rothkopf, chairman, Ludorum. “The ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!’ traffic safety pledge and badge is based on this concept. We hope that children will be excited to learn the rules of the road while they interact with Chuggington’s characters and earn their ‘official’ Chuggington Traffic Safety badges.”

Chuggington currently airs daily on Disney Junior, Disney Channel’s programming block designed for kids ages 2-7 and their families. Beginning October, ‘Think Safe, Ride Safe, Be Safe!’ public service announcements featuring the Chuggington ‘trainees’ – Koko, Wilson and Brewster – will air nationally on Disney Junior. In addition, viewers can sign the traffic safety pledge, play games and more at www.disneyjunior.com/safety.

As part of a long term commitment to making traffic safety a priority and shared family experience, Chuggington and NHTSA are partnering throughout 2012. In addition to the programs mentioned, updated seasonal traffic safety messaging, school curriculum materials, social media promotions and a free downloadable Traffic Safety app will launch in the coming months.

About Ludorum plcLudorum is a global IP company dedicated to developing quality entertainment properties for television, interactive and new media. Ludorum is the creator of Chuggington, a CGI-animated television series for preschoolers that airs in over 175 countries and has been translated into 26 languages. Ludorum was formed in 2006 and has offices in London and New York.  For more information about Ludorum please visit: www.ludorum.com.

About ChuggingtonChuggington is a CGI-animated series that follows the adventures of Wilson, Brewster and Koko, trainee engines, each with their own unique personality and learning style.  The series is set in a world much like our own with cities, villages and diverse cultures and geography.  Entertainment and enjoyment are at the heart of Chuggington, but embedded within each story are important educational and developmental messages centered on learning and social-emotional development. Chuggington is directed by Sarah Ball, who won a BAFTA award for her work as a director and writer of Bob the Builder.  Further information is available at www.chuggington.com.

About NHTSAFor more than four decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has served as the key federal agency charged with improving safety on our nation’s roadways. As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA is working to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries by promoting the use of safety belts and child safety seats; helping states and local communities address the threat of drunk drivers; regulating safety standards and investigating safety defects in motor vehicles; establishing and enforcing fuel economy standards; conducting research on driver behavior and traffic safety; and providing consumer information on issues ranging from child passenger safety to impaired driving. About CPS Week – September 18-24, 2011Child Passenger Safety Week is an annual nationwide effort to promote the proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. As part of Child Passenger Safety Week, parents and caregivers are especially encouraged to have their child seats checked at one of the thousands of free safety seat inspection stations set up across the country. This year’s week-long effort will culminate in National Seat Check Saturday on September 24, when English- and Spanish-speaking child passenger safety technicians will be available to answer questions and help install child safety seats. Additional information is available at www.nhtsa.gov.

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