MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - This National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is promoting Child Passenger Safety until Sept. 26. This titled week aims to bring awareness to caregivers with young children to make sure they are going through the proper car safety protocols.
“This week we are really pushing for awareness on the safety and security of kids while they are riding in vehicles,” said Lt. Richard Grillo from the Meridian Township Police Department.
According to the NHTSA, the proper use of a car or booster seat can reduce car crash fatalities by over 70% for infants and 54% for toddlers.
However, many times car and booster seats are not properly installed, or the child is not properly buckled into them.
“I have children myself, and I understand the importance of the installation and how it must be done properly if you want to reduce the risk of injury and fatalities in children,” said Grillo.
In Michigan, children under the age of four must ride in a car seat in the back of the car unless all other seats are occupied by other children younger than four. Only then can young children ride in the front seat, but the airbag must be turned off. Also, Children must be eight years old or four-feet-nine-inches before they can ride in a car without a booster seat.
“If you are found to be in violation of any of these, the driver of the vehicle is the one who is going to get the ticket, and that’s a civil infraction,” Grillo said.
Most civil infractions result in fines; however, they can also put points on one’s license.
Child Passenger Safety Week ends in National Seat Check Saturday on September 26. On this date, many inspection stations will be free for people to go get their car seats checked out and make sure that they are installed properly.
Due to COVID-19, no special events will be held in Meridian Township for National Seat Check Saturday, however, the police department offers free car seat installations with an appointment year-round.
Lt. Grillo said after an appointment is made, all that the caregiver needs to do is arrive at the police department, and the car seat technicians will install the seat properly right in front of them.
“I just encourage any parents that have any questions about it to contact us and make an appointment,” said Grillo. “We’ll get you set up.”