Local News

Hispanic Advocates Hope Safety Video Will Make Roads Safer

Posted May 12, 2003

— A video released Monday is designed to both inform and perhaps shock Hispanic drivers into making the right choices.

"Por Nuestra Seguridad," or For Our Safety, tells the story of a Hispanic family's move to North Carolina. In Spanish, the story teaches how to get your driver's license and the importance of insurance and inspection. But, the video leaves its mark as the tale turns tragic. The father is permanently disabled in a drunken driving crash.

Nolo Martinez, Gov. Mike Easley's top advisor on Hispanic affairs, said the message needs to make a mark.

"We will take responsibility for solutions and we will take ownership for our problems in the sense that, we need to fix it. We will. We'll do the best we can," he said.

According to statistics from the

state Department of Transportation

, Hispanics make up 5 percent of North Carolina's population but account for 8 percent of motor vehicle deaths. In a

recent report

, DWI traffic stops for Hispanics were found to be higher than their percentage of the population. Charlie Pardo, a Chapel Hill police officer featured in the video, said with statistics like that, we need to meet in the middle.

"We have a very large migration into this country of folks that they do want to learn the language. It's not that they don't want to," he said. "It takes time if we're going to serve everybody the same way and fairly we need to try to meet the folks halfway."

A federal grant and donations from North Carolina businesses paid for the video. Hispanic churches will all receive copies of the new safety video. Police departments and the Mexican Consulate will also have copies.

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