Safety Seats Save Lives LogoIf you travel with small children, you are responsible for their safety. Make sure they are using the proper child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt while the vehicle is in motion. The driver of the vehicle AND the parent (if they are in the vehicle) can both be issued a citation if the child is observed riding in the vehicle in an unsafe condition.

Infants are required to ride in the back seat (center seating position is preferred) in a rear facing child seat until they are 1-year and 20 lbs. It is safest to use the child seat rear facing until the maximum weight of your individual seat. This information can be found in the owner's manual and on the manufacture's stickers on the side of the seat. Never put a rear facing child seat in front of an active air bag.

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Children between 1-year and 5 years are required to be in a child passenger safety seat. Make sure to read your vehicle instruction manual, along with your child seat instruction manual, before installing your seat. If the child is observed riding with loose shoulder straps, a low retainer clip, not buckled between the legs and an improperly used seat belt or latch system, broken or expired child seat, a citation may be issued for improper use of a child seat, and the fine may exceed $446.00, along with a point on your driving record. If you have questions or concerns, the Police Department has several trained child passenger safety technicians available to install and inspect your seat by appointment only.

When you purchase your child seat, do not buy a used seat. You don't know the history of the seat and often times they are broken, expired (seats expire after 6 years), or missing parts and instructions or are on the re-call list. Child seats are only good for one crash, before they need to be replaced.

Children between the ages of 6 years and 8 years are some of the most neglected when it comes to passenger safety. Most children in that age range are still not tall enough to sit without a booster seat. You can check by doing a simple 5-step test.

  1. Does the child sits all the way back against the vehicle seat?
  2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?
  3. Is the lap belt below the tummy, touching the thighs?
  4. Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?
  5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

If you answered "No" to any of these questions, your child still needs a booster seat. Most children put the shoulder strap under the arm or behind the back because they do not fit in the vehicle seat without assistance of a booster.

Click It or Ticket LogoVehicle collisions are the number 1 killer of children, lets do our part to keep them safe. Adult passengers need to set the example by buckling up CORRECTLY every time. It is illegal to drive with your shoulder strap under your arm, or behind your back; the fine for not properly wearing your seat belt or not wearing it at all is approximately $132, and a point on your driving record.

On average across the nation, 30,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes every year. Make passenger safety a mandatory rule before the vehicle is set in motion. The vehicle air bags are only designed to work in conjunction with seat belts, they are not a substitute.

For further please consult with The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.gov, The American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org, or Safety Belt Safe USA. at www.carseat.org.

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