The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) announced a new Child Passenger Safety Video Series to coincide with National Child Passenger Safety Week.
The DMV and GTSC launched the four-part online video series to highlight safety measures to protect children and infants in motor vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 328 children under age 5 were saved nationally in 2016 by car seats. Child safety seats have been shown to reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants (under 1 year old) and by 54 percent for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in passenger cars, NHTSA says. Of the children killed in car crashes in 2016, 65 percent were unrestrained.
Student transporters require specialized training sponsored by NHTSA available at events like TSD Conference and STN EXPO on how to properly secure smaller children to bench seats in school buses using Child Safety Restraint Systems, which include rear- and forward-facing car seats, integrated child seats or other securement systems.
GTSC is sharing the video series on its Facebook and Twitter pages, as part of a national driver education effort during Child Passenger Safety Week, which began Sunday and concludes with National Car Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 29.
A total of 35 car seat check events are planned in New York throughout the week, officials said, including 24 on Saturday, to help parents ensure their children’s restraints are safely installed. Complete details on those events and other upcoming events that are sponsored by the GTSC are available at www.safeny.ny.gov.
“We are happy to offer child safety seat checks year-round, especially during national awareness weeks when we can bring widespread attention to this important topic,” said Terri Egan, DMV executive deputy commissioner and acting GTSC chair. “Our new videos will be a useful tool to inform parents and caregivers about safely securing children in an appropriate seat and the risks of not following recommended guidelines.”
The video series also encourages parents to have a certified technician check their child’s safety seat, to be sure it is properly installed. NHTSA data shows that 59 percent of the restraints are not correctly installed.
The new video series emphasizes the dangers of placing infants and small children in forward-facing car seats, where their risk of injury is 75 percent higher than in rear-facing car seats. NHTSA cautions that many parents prematurely move their children from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing seat.
The agency recommends keeping children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.
Another video in the series focuses on how to properly fit shoulder and lap straps based on the child’s size. According to New York’s occupant restraint law, each passenger under age 16 must wear a seat belt or use an appropriate child safety restraint system. The restraint system must comply with the height and weight recommendations determined by the manufacturer.
Depending on the size of the child, the restraint system may be a safety seat or a booster seat used in combination with a lap and shoulder belt. All children must be in an appropriate child restraint until their eighth birthday.
More information is posted at the NYS DMV’s website.