2020 Child Passenger Safety Week
Local Police and Traffic Safety Officials Will Conduct Free Car Seat Checks During Child Passenger Safety Week Check Event on September 26th
Port Jervis, NY — Everyday in America, millions of parents and caregivers travel with children in their vehicles. While some children are buckled in properly in the correct car seats for their ages and sizes, many are not, if they are buckled up at all. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 46% of car seats are misused. To help combat this issue, the City of Port Jervis Police Department and Town of Deerpark Police Department in partnership with the Port Jervis City School District and the Orange County Traffic Safety Committee announced today its participation in Child Passenger Safety Week, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible — every trip, every time.
Child Passenger Safety Week runs from September 20-26, 2020, and a free child car seat safety check event will be hosted on Saturday, September 26th from 10am to 2pm at the Port Jervis Middle School Parking Lot located at 118 East Main Street in the City of Port Jervis to provide free car seat installation safety checks and to raise awareness about the dangers children face when they are not buckled properly. This year’s event will be supported by certified Passenger Safety Technicians from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Mount Hope Police and the New York State Police. In addition, members of Operation PJ PRIDE community coalition will be present to provide community resource guides, drug education information, bottles of water and other fun handouts for families.
Every 32 seconds in 2018, a child under 13 was involved in a passenger vehicle crash. Using car seats that are age- and size-appropriate is the best way to keep your children safe. According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, and while fatalities declined from 2017 to 2018, there is still work to be done to completely eliminate these preventable tragedies. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference. “In 2017, there were 312 children under the age of 5 saved because they were in a car seat. Car seats matter and having the right car seat installed and used the right way is critical.”
In addition, too often, parents move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death, even if that child is buckled up. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat. NHTSA reported that, in 2015, about 25.8% of children ages 4 to 7 who should have been riding in booster seats, were prematurely moved to seat belts and 11.6% were unbuckled altogether.
As parents and caregivers, we have a long list of things we do for our children to show our love. One of the simplest and most important things on the list should be to make sure they are in the right car seat for their age and size. We urge you to have your car seats checked. Make sure they’re installed correctly, that your kids are in the right seats and are buckled in correctly. Even if you think your child’s car seat is installed correctly, get it checked by one of the certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians that will be present on the 26th, so you can be sure that your child is the safest he or she can be while traveling.
NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height and weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely.
Always remember to register your car seat and booster seat with the car seat manufacturer so you can be notified in the event of a recall. Parents and caregivers can view more information on car seat safety and locate a certified technician at www.nhtsa.gov/therightseat.
If you would like to make an appointment to have your child car seat inspected on the 26th, please contact 845-858-4065 to schedule the appointment. Appointments are not necessary but greatly assist the technicians in organizing the time required for a safety seat inspection. A team of Certified Passenger Safety Technicians from the Port Jervis Police, Town of Deerpark Police, Orange County Traffic Safety, Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Town of Mount Hope Police will be inspecting car seats on September 26th between the hours of 10am to 2pm at the Port Jervis Middle School Parking Lot.
Technicians will be following health and safety guidelines to ensure that your car seat check appointment is done in a safe and sanitary manner. Please make an appointment or stop by the event to have your car seat checked to help ensure that your child is safely secure while traveling in a motor vehicle.
Funding to support this initiative is provided through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Child Passenger Safety Incentive Grant. For more information regarding traffic safety programs funded by GTSC please visit their website at https://trafficsafety.ny.gov/.