For Immediate Release: September 12, 2019

Contact: Ben Powell at 919-807-6008

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY - Commissioner Causey kicks off Child Passenger Safety Week with event to save lives

Vehicle crashes #1 cause of death among children

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is joining the Governor's Highway Safety Program, law enforcement agencies and first responders urging parents and caregivers to ensure children are secured in a properly installed child safety seat when riding in a vehicle to save lives.

In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week that runs Sept. 15-21, Commissioner Causey will be joined by GHSP Director Mark Ezzell on Monday, Sept. 16 at the Huntersville Police Department to show how properly installed child restraints can greatly improve the safety of a child.

"Safety seats save lives. It's that simple," said Commissioner Causey. "Our goal during Child Passenger Safety Week is to teach as many parents, grandparents, and caregivers as possible the correct way to install a child passenger safety seat and secure children in a vehicle."

According to Safe Kids North Carolina, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among children ages 1 to 19. Of those children ages 12 and under who died in vehicle crashes in 2017, nearly 40% were not restrained.

Also, children ages 2 to 5 who use safety belts prematurely are four times more likely to suffer a serious injury if in an accident.

At Monday's event, child passenger safety technicians will inspect car seats free of charge to make sure children are in an age appropriate seats that are properly installed.

Huntersville Police Chief Bence Hoyle will highlight the importance of child passenger safety seats by pointing to a recent example where his officers installed a car seat which may have saved the lives of two children.

In July 2019, the James' family was in their SUV when they were struck by a driver who ran a stop sign. Their vehicle flipped upside down but no one was seriously hurt.

Mrs. Liz James will be on hand to discuss how the seats that were properly installed by the Huntersville Police Department played a vital role in protecting her children during that crash.

Below are the details for the Child Passenger Safety Week Kick-Off Event:

WHO:    Commissioner Mike Causey, North Carolina Department of Insurance Director
              Mark Ezzell, Governor's Highway Safety Program
              Chief Bence Hoyle, Huntersville Police Department
              Liz James, Family Advocate

WHAT:   Child Passenger Safety Week Kick-Off event

WHERE: Huntersville Police Department
              9630 Julian Clark Avenue
              Huntersville, N.C., 28078

WHEN:  Monday, September 16th from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

WHY:    To prevent injuries and deaths to children because they were not properly buckled up.

In addition to this safety event this week, highway safety patrol officers across the state will be stepping up enforcement of the state's child safety seat law. Also, Safe Kids organizations will hold Seat Check Saturday events on Saturday, September 21 at various locations around the state. Seat Check Saturday is designed to help parents and caregivers make sure their children's seats are properly installed.

Trained technicians will be at these events to provide free car seat inspections and training to help parents and caregivers buckle kids in safely.

There are more than 230 permanent checking stations located at fire stations and other sites in North Carolina that can provide these services year-round. Stations can be found at www.buckleupnc.org.

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