Dr. Joseph O’Neil (left), the co-medical director of the Automotive Safety Program, presents Charlie Vits with the Child Safety Advocate Award.
INDIANAPOLIS — Earlier this month, Charlie Vits of IMMI was honored with the Child Safety Advocate Award by Safe Kids Indiana (the statewide branch of Safe Kids USA) and the Automotive Safety Program for his dedication to the prevention of injuries and deaths among Indiana children.
A national report released by Safe Kids USA reveals that the accidental injury death rate of children 14 and under has declined by 45 percent in the U.S. since 1987, but accidental injury remains the nation’s leading killer of kids.
“The drop in children’s accidental deaths gives us thousands of reasons to celebrate,” said Autumn McNichols, Safe Kids Indiana’s state coordinator, “but we’re still losing too many kids in this country, which is why Safe Kids Indiana joins the national efforts to make child injury prevention a priority and recognizes those individuals who go the extra mile in keeping children safe.”
Vits, IMMI's market development manager and a 12-year company veteran, spearheaded the engineering team that developed SmartFrame technology for school bus seating, which provides both compartmentalization and lap-shoulder belts.
He has also taken a leading role in educating transportation directors around the country by speaking at national and state conferences as well as other industry events, helping the industry understand the value of appropriate restraints for preschool and Head Start students that ride school buses.
Vits was one of six people who were selected to receive the Child Safety Advocate Award, which was presented in conjunction with the 2010 Indiana Injury Prevention Conference.