Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Car Seat Enforcement Campaign

Local law enforcement agencies are starting up an enforcement campaign to make sure children are correctly buckled into car seats.

The Spokane County Target Zero Task Force received a grant from Washington Traffic Safety Commission to promote the correct use of child car seats. Parents frequently place children in seat belts too soon. Seat belts are designed for adults and do not properly protect children until they are 4’9” tall.

Under Washington law, people who transport children are required to adhere to the following rules to protect children in the event of a crash:

▪ Child ages: 0 to at least 12 months and at least 20 pounds --use a rear-facing infant seat. Keep your child rear-facing as long as your child car seat allows.

▪ Age: 13 months to age four -- use a child car seat with a five-point harness.

▪ Age: four to 4’9” tall -- use a booster seat. Boosters should only be placed with a lap and shoulder belt.

▪ Age: up to age 13 -- children should ride in the rear seat of the vehicle.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children up to age 14.


Rachel said...

First bullet should say "and under 20 pounds"

Since most babies aren't 20 pound until nearly a year old. :-)

You can't switch to forward facing until they are BOTH over 20 lbs and one year old. However, as this post says, it's safer to keep them rear-facing until they have reached the maximum weight your seat lists for rear facing.

SRTC Staff said...

Thanks for the edits Rachel. I don't have kids so probably thought that was perfectly normal when I pulled it off the press release :)

Jeff and I in the office were talking about how you're supposed to keep your children in a booster seat until they hit 4' 9" tall. I thought that was pretty funny because I have a short friend who I will no longer let ride in my car unless she agrees to sit in a booster seat.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.