Dozens of vehicles lined up in the Buc-ee’s Fort Worth parking lot Saturday morning for a free safety check from the experts.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration brought their “Safe Cars Save Lives” tour to the popular gas destination in an attempt to take care of some lingering issues on roads in the region.
"Four states, nine cities, 1500 miles,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind who made the trip from Washington D.C. to lead the tour. "And we're looking for recalls, checking tires, car seats, and hopefully educating people about heat stroke.”
Rosekind launched the bus tour of the southern United States in direct response to the Takata Airbag recall that has been an issue for drivers nationwide this year, but especially in this part of the country.
Some estimates put the number of effected vehicles in the tens of millions range, and Rosekind said an overwhelming amount of those cars still haven’t been repaired.
"Right now, about half the cars we're checking have an open recall the driver didn't know about,” he said. “About 25 percent of cars don't get remedied, we think it should be 100 percent of all cars get fixed; it's free!”
Experts with the group ran VIN numbers to check local cars and also checked tires and other problem areas.
Groups like Toyota, the Texas Department of Transportation, and local police and fire departments also joined the event to put out education about drunk driving, distracted driving, seat belts, and check car seat installations.
Dana Walraven with Safe Kids Tarrant County was one of many at the event trying to educate parents about the importance of double checking for children left in hot cars.
On Friday, a child near San Antonio was found dead in a vehicle after being left behind; the 6th in Texas alone this year.
“Even on a cooler day, 83 degrees,” said Walraven showing the temperature on Saturday, “it's almost a hundred degrees in the car.”
While the tour only reached a select number of drivers during their hour and a half stay at the gas station, they did find several cars with open recalls.
When asked if the group will make the bus tour a yearly event or take it nationwide, Rosekind simply said, “there’s already talk about that.”