Agencies Honor Dr. Seatbelt

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

On Monday, September 24, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) joined the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), local law enforcement, local officials, and community advocates for a special event at the Rutherford County Health Department in Murfreesboro to kick off National Child Passenger Safety Week.
This celebratory event honored Dr. Robert Sanders, the Murfreesboro pediatrician known as “Dr. Seat Belt” due to his extraordinary role in the passage of Tennessee’s Child Passenger Protection Act in 1977. A historical marker was unveiled to commemorate Dr. Sanders and the implementation of this legislation 40 years ago. Installation of the marker was initiated by Dr. Charles E. Goodman, Jr., and sponsored by the Tennessee Medical Association.
According to Tennessee Highway Safety Office Director Vic Donoho, “It is an honor for our office to participate in this commemoration by supporting Dr. Charles Goodman and Mrs. Pat Sanders. The work of Dr. Robert Sanders paved the way for agencies like the Tn Highway Safety Office to educate local communities and further prevent child injuries and fatalities. Currently our supports over 100 fitting stations across the state. These fitting stations conduct over 200 community events throughout the year.”
Dr. Sanders was born in middle Tennessee and received his education from Vanderbilt University Medical School. He served as director of the Rutherford County Health Department for 25 years. He and his wife, Pat, lobbied the Tennessee General Assembly for several years to pass a mandatory child restraint law. At the time, car seat use was less than 15 percent, and car crashes were the leading cause of death for young children.
During the event, Tennessee Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Dr. Michael Waren said, “Forty years ago, Dr. Sanders, a public health pediatrician, helped Tennessee to lead the nation in saving children’s lives. We are proud to continue his legacy today and want to see every child in the right seat for every ride in any vehicle.”