Child Passenger Safety Week Kicks Off Monday, September 16, 2013

RALEIGH – Each year, too many children die on North Carolina highways, because they were not buckled properly or buckled in at all. To help save young lives, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, in partnership with the N.C. Department of Transportation and the N.C. Department of Insurance, kicked off Child Passenger Safety Week today in Asheville. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about how to use child restraints in vehicles the right way.

“We care about the safety of all those who travel along North Carolina roadways,” said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata. “The safety of our children, though, is a top priority. Buckling them in properly only takes a few moments and makes a lasting difference during a crash.”

In 2012, 60 children in North Carolina were killed and 107 seriously injured in car crashes. Sixty-two percent of those who died and 46 percent of those seriously injured were not buckled in either a car seat or a seat belt.

“Buckling up saves lives. As parents and caregivers, we have the responsibility to make sure that our children are properly restrained every time they ride in a car,” said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. “This week is meant to highlight the importance of everyone buckling up — especially our youngest passengers.”

To share that message, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program produced a new public service announcement, which is airing statewide on digital and television media during the campaign. The PSA highlights, a helpful resource where adults can easily read the laws regarding child restraints in vehicles, get tips on how to pick the right car seat and find the permanent car seat checking station in their area. Click below to watch it.

Permanent checking stations are available in 62 counties across North Carolina at more than 180 locations. Each station has trained technicians who can teach parents and caregivers how to properly install and use child restraints in vehicles.

To further address the issue of child fatalities and injuries in car crashes, North Carolina launched a child passenger safety diversion program in 2010. It is currently operating or being implemented in 38 counties across the state. Drivers who are cited by law enforcement officers for child restraint violations have the opportunity to get their citations dismissed if they visit a certified safety seat checking station in their county. After learning how to properly secure their child and install an appropriate car seat in their vehicle, they will be issued a certificate to bring to court to get their ticket dismissed.

The diversion program and checking stations represent a partnership between fire departments, law enforcement, district attorneys and safety experts help to prevent motor vehicle injuries among children.

For more information regarding Child Passenger Safety Week, visit the GHSP website or The campaign started yesterday and concludes with Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 21. 


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