CLEARFIELD – PennDOT District 2-0 wants to assure that all children are protected from harm while riding in a vehicle. The message to “Buckle Up For Life” is the theme for National Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from Feb. 11-17.
During this special week, motorists are urged to ensure that passengers of all ages understand the importance of buckling up. Although the campaign is focused primarily on child passenger safety, the intention is to raise public awareness of Pennsylvania’s child safety seat and seat belt laws, and also incorporate PennDOT’s “Click It or Ticket: 2 Tickets, 2 Fines” initiative to promote adult seat belt use.
It’s also a time for child safety advocates to schedule child safety seat checks, including these locations in Clearfield, Centre and Elk counties:
Third Ward Fire Co. Monday, 2-4 p.m.
Corner of Martin and Park streets
Clearfield, PA 16830
Stocker Chevrolet Saturday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
701 Benner Pike
State College, PA 16801
Johnsonburg Municipal Garage Tuesday 3-6 p.m.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of five children ages 14 and younger were killed and 640 were injured each day in motor vehicle crashes during 2005.
During Child Passenger Safety Week, it is important to stress the steps parents must take to properly restrain their children at different ages and stages of development. These steps include:
• Infants must ride rear-facing in infant seats until they weigh at least 20 pounds and are at least 1 year of age;
• Children from about 4 years old and at least 40 pounds use a forward-facing toddler seat;
• Booster seats are used from about 4 years old and at least 40 pounds to age 8; and
• Lap and shoulder safety belts are used from age 8 to and through adulthood.
Under state law, all children from birth up to age 4 must be secured in an approved child safety seat anywhere in the vehicle. All children age 4 up to age 8 must be secured in a seat belt system and appropriate child booster seat anywhere in the vehicle. All children age 8 up to 18 must be secured in a seat belt system anywhere in the vehicle.
Under Pennsylvania’s seat belt law, all drivers are responsible for ensuring front seat occupants wear a seat belt and for securing children in the appropriate child restraint system.
Using a seat belt is proven to save lives and reduce injuries. According to NHTSA research, lap/shoulder safety belts when used reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat occupants (age 5 and older) of passenger cars by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent.
National data also shows that among children under age five, an estimated 420 lives were saved in 2005 by child restraint use. Nearly 100 additional lives could have been saved if all motorists were in compliance with child safety seat requirements.
For more information on child passenger safety or if you are unable to afford a car seat, call 800-CAR-BELT to find the nearest car seat loaner program.
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