National Safety Commission Calls on the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to Reconsider Efforts to Help Haitian Earthquake Victims
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The National Safety Commission (TNSC) announced today that the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is blocking its effort to assist victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. The company is the official sponsor of the Florida Drivers Handbooks and has printed and distributed more than 10 million books during the past seven years, saving taxpayers and the State of Florida more than $5 million.
TNSC’s Founder Ken Underwood, said that he has made “extensive and exhaustive efforts” to print 20,000 drivers license handbooks in the Haitian native language, Creole, for the refugees in South Florida at no cost to the state; but DHSMV has denied Underwood’s request, citing a letter in which the department expresses its concern for saving trees.
“As an American and a Floridian, I find it embarrassing to see a Florida agency placing a higher value on trees than on the lives of these earthquake victims,” said Underwood. “These people are suffering and need our help, so that they can get a drivers’ license, get a job and provide relief for their families back in Haiti, many of whom are still living on the streets.”
“This is another unfortunate example of government preventing the private sector to respond in real time,” said Underwood. “I am disappointed that the department put up road blocks to this project, which didn’t cost a cent to taxpayers and will help many transplanted Haitians.”
In the unsigned letter sent via email to Underwood on March 11, 2010, the department denied, for a second time, TNSC’s request to print 20,000 Creole handbooks free of charge. It further stated the department was, “promoting environmental friendliness saving all those trees.”
For more information on TNSC and the initiatives it serves, please visit www.nationalsafetycommission.com.
Underwood is the founder and chief executive officer of TNSC, official sponsor of the Florida Driver Handbooks for the past seven years. As the sponsor of this public/private partnership, entered into under the Jeb Bush Administration, TNSC has saved Florida taxpayers approximately $5 million in printing and distribution costs and won the Davis Productivity Award for good government. Underwood is a former Navy pilot and serial entrepreneur. In 2007, TNSC was recognized by INC Magazine as the second-fastest growing educational company in America. In 2009, Stereofame, another Underwood online company, won the highly coveted Webby Honoree Award in the Games Category, tied with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. Also in 2009, Underwood received the Alumni of the Year Award from Jacksonville University. In addition to sponsoring the Florida Drivers Handbooks, Underwood’s company is the official sponsor of the Jacksonville University Athletic Teams and the highest level corporate sponsor recognized by the Children’s Home Society. Last month, Underwood received the Spirit of the Trooper Award from the National Association of State Troopers for sponsoring the National Trooper of the Year Award.
SOURCE National Safety Commission