Officials are encouraging drivers to take advantage of free car seat checks in Bucks County as part of National Child Passenger Safety Week.
PennDOT, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Pennsylvania Traffic Injury Prevention Project (PA TIPP) will be hosting free car seat checks in Bucks County next week as part of National Child Passenger Safety Week.
Pennsylvania State Police said there will be two car seat clinics in Bucks County next week.
The first one will be Monday, September 18 at Children of America Warminster at 1187 York Road in Warminster Township from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. No appointment is required.
The second clinic will be held at Doylestown Health Business Annex on West State Street in Doylestown Township on Monday, September 18 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registration for the event is required and can be completed online.
State police personnel certified as child passenger safety technicians will be part of the events.
Caregivers can have their car seats checked for suitability, receive instruction on the proper installation, have seat(s) installed, learn to properly harness a child in a seat and check seats for recalls, according to state police.
“Properly installed child safety seats save lives, and it’s vital that Pennsylvania’s youngest passengers are safe when traveling,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Col. Christopher Paris. “We encourage parents and caregivers to have their seats checked by a certified child passenger seat technician to ensure proper installation.”
According to national statistics, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers. However, 46 percent of car seats and booster seats are installed or used incorrectly.
Between January and June, troopers conducted 525 child safety seat inspections and discovered 207 incidents of misuse.
“Seat belts are your best defense in a crash, but they were created for adults,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “It’s important that parents and caregivers take time this week to ensure they are using the right car seat or booster seat for their child’s size and age.”
According to the state primary seatbelt law, all occupants younger than 18 are required to wear a seatbelt when riding anywhere in a vehicle. Children under the age of two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and children under the age of four must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children must ride in a booster seat until their eighth birthday.
A secondary law also requires drivers and front-seat passengers 18 or older to buckle up. If motorists are stopped for a traffic violation and are not wearing their seat belt, they can receive a second ticket and second fine, officials said.
Due to the potential dangers associated with airbag deployment, children 12 and younger should always ride buckled in a vehicle’s back seat, officials said.
PA TIPP offers the following tips:
- Select a car seat that is right for the child’s age and size.
- Fill out and return the registration card for your seat so you’ll know if it is recalled because of a problem.
- Read and follow the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual for information on correctly installing the car seat in the vehicle.
- Use the car’s seat belt or the LATCH system when installing the car seat.
- Make sure the car seat’s harness is correctly adjusted and fits snugly.
- Use a tether strap when installing a forward-facing car seat, following manufacturer’s instructions.
For more information on how to keep passengers safe, or if you are unable to afford a car seat, call 1-800-CAR-BELT or visit PAKidsTravelSafe.org to find the nearest car seat loan program. Information on Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations and Community Car Seat Checkup Events is also available on the website.