WEST ORANGE, NJ - In the face of the tragic accident this week in Maplewood that claimed the lives of two young people, the Nikhil Badlani Foundation has announced its official countdown to the Third Annual Walk/Run for Nikhil on Sunday, September 22.

Nikhil, the oldest son of Sangeeta and Sunil Badlani, was killed in a motor vehicle accident on June 11, 2011 when another driver ran a stop sign.

Aug. 4-10, 2013, is National Stop on Red Week, when nationwide efforts to educate the public about traffic safety regulations in an effort to save lives, particularly in the area of running stop signs, occurs.

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Sangeeta Badlani, mother of Nikhi,l had this to say about the upcoming walk/run, Stop on Red Week, and the tragic crash in Maplewood:

"People dying from distracted driving is becoming an epidemic on Americas roadways, striking indiscriminately and unexpectedly. We need to take strong action and raise awareness by educating the people to the dangers of distracted driving, not wearing seat belts and not obeying traffic signs. As per NHTSA, in 2011, on average, one person died every 16 minutes. These are preventable deaths that do not require any research for a cure. The tragic car crash in Maplewood should be a warning to those who drink and drive. When you drink and drive or don't pay attention to the road you not only put yourself at risk, but others as well. My heart goes out to the family and friends whose lives will never be the same.

The Stop For Nikhil run/walk is held every year to promote traffic safety awareness and to remember those who died and to honor those who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes."

The third annual STOP for Nikhil Run/walk to raise traffic safety awareness will be held on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. 

For more information on the Walk/Run and to find out how to donate or participate, go to: nikhilbadlanifoundation.org.