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AAA School Safety Patrollers Learn Lifelong Lessons in Pedestrian Safety

ORLANDO, Florida -- Imagine that you are crossing a street and just as you're about halfway across, a vehicle runs a red light and is speeding right toward you. What would you do?

Now, imagine that you're only six.

That is the situation that a six-year-old from Bridgeport, WV, found himself in on his way home from school one day last fall. Luckily, Nico DelGreco and Mitchell Davis were at their posts as AAA School Safety Patrols(TM) that day. When Nico and Mitchell realized that the vehicle was not going to stop for the little pedestrian, they sped into action by running into the street to grab him and jumping to safety. The car missed Nico by only a few feet.

Nico and Mitchell were able to avert a tragedy because of their quick thinking and training as AAA School Safety Patrollers. Every morning and afternoon 500,000 students in 50,000 elementary and middle schools across the country put on their brightly colored belts and badges and volunteer their time to guide and protect their classmates against traffic hazards.

Today's AAA School Safety Patrollers carry on a proud tradition that they share with many famous people. Former celebrity patrollers include U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, astronauts, Olympians, a Nobel Prize winner, and three Baseball Hall of Famers.

AAA School Safety Patrollers are often faced with situations that require split-second decisions and heroic behavior. Since its inception in 1920, the AAA School Safety Patrol has been a symbol of AAA's concern for children, pedestrians and traffic safety excellence throughout the United States.

The national pedestrian death rate per 100,000 children aged 5-14 has fallen by 93 percent since 1935, the first year that records were kept. At one time, children in this age group had the second highest fatality rate of any age group, but today they have the lowest and safety experts credit the AAA School Safety Patrol program with making a strong contribution to this significant improvement.

AAA promotes and recognizes School Safety Patrollers each year through a series of awards, newsletters, summer camps and scholarships. AAA honors those students who have acted selflessly to help younger children avoid danger or even tragedy.

At this year's awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., four patrollers received the AAA Lifesaving Medal Award from guest presenter U.S. Deputy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Kenneth P. Moritsugu: Nico DelGreco and Mitchell Davis of Bridgeport, WV; Molly Kaiser of Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.; and Emma Elise Binegar of Morenci, Mich. This award is the highest honor given to members of the AAA School Safety Patrol, and is presented annually to those who, while on duty, saved the life of someone in imminent danger.

In addition, AAA named 14 Patrollers of the Year: Carly Adler, Denville NJ; Emma Elise Binegar, Morenci, Mich.; Benjamin Carpenter, Brandon, Fla.; Meagan Johnson, Arlington, Va.; Alex Johnston, Bridgeport, WV; Brandon Matthews, Chicago, Ill.; Madeleine McCarty, Salt Lake City, Utah; Kelsey McGlynn, Shoreline, Wash.; Chelsea Nooker, Green Bay, Wis.; Janet Ribando, Mineola, NY; Austin Sands, Kettering, Ohio; Christina Stabb, Pittsburgh, Penn.; Brennon Tolbert, Virginia Beach, Va.; and Edward Zarco, Vallejo, Calif.

For more information about the AAA School Safety Patrol program including a list of famous people who once served as patrollers, visit