For Immediate Release: September 16, 2012
State and Local Partners Kick Off Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 15-21
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and local fire and law enforcement officials came together today at Reynolds Fire Department in Asheville to kick off North Carolina’s 2013 Child Passenger Safety Week — a blitz of safety and child seat checking events held throughout the state during the week of Sept. 15 that culminates on Sept. 21 with Seat Check Saturday.
“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 Goodwin, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. “This week is meant to highlight the importance of everyone buckling up —especially our youngest passengers.”
More than 62,000 children younger than 16 were involved in North Carolina car crashes in 2012. Nearly two-thirds of the 60 children killed last year were not buckled in either a car seat or seat belt; among the 107 children who were injured, it is estimated that 25 would have suffered less serious injuries had they been buckled up.*
Goodwin was joined by Col. Bill Grey of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Asheville Police Chief William Anderson, Reynolds Fire Chief Richard Sales and other local law enforcement and safety advocates to promote child passenger safety efforts including:
- A new diversion program in Buncombe and Henderson Counties. Drivers who are cited by law enforcement officers for child restraint violations will have the opportunity to learn how to properly install and use their car seats or seat belt by making an appointment at designated locations in their county. After learning how to properly secure their child and install the correct car seat in their vehicle, they will be issued a certificate to bring to court to get their ticket dismissed. The initiative represents a partnership between fire departments, law enforcement, the district attorney’s office and Safe Kids in an effort to prevent motor vehicle injuries among children.
- Permanent checking stations across North Carolina. Stations have trained technicians who can teach parents and caregivers how to properly install and use child restraints in vehicles. There are currently more than 180 permanent checking locations in 62 counties across North Carolina.
- Child Passenger Safety Week and Seat Check Saturday events. Events will be held in towns across North Carolina to provide free car seat inspections and training to help parents and caregivers buckle kids in safely.
- Law enforcement agencies. Officers across the state will be enforcing child passenger safety laws in special enforcement campaigns to insure everyone is safe and buckled up.
To find a permanent checking station or an event near you, visit www.buckleupnc.org.
Safe Kids North Carolina, a program housed in the North Carolina Department of Insurance, reaches out to parents, caregivers and children in 66 counties served by 38 coalitions across the state. Through these coalitions and partnerships, more than six million people have access to Safe Kids North Carolina programming. For more safety tips and information about Safe Kids North Carolina, visit www.ncsafekids.org.