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As the last long weekend of the summer, traffic is expected to increase, as will the chances of being involved in a crash

Law enforcement agencies statewide, including the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office, began merging together Monday on a nationwide blitz focusing on enforcing safety restraint laws. The effort will continue through Labor Day weekend.

As the last long weekend of the summer, traffic is expected to increase, as will the chances of being involved in a crash.

The use of safety belts and child restraints is the most effective way to prevent injuries and fatalities during an automobile accident, according to a press release. Oregon law requires all occupants to use safety restraints or a child safety system according to the child's size. Officers will be focused on the proper use of safety belts and child-seat use.

Safety belts, if used correctly, can reduce the risk of major injury by 65 percent and are more effective when used in combination with an airbag system or other protection features included on newer cars, the release said.

Child seats can increase the risk of survival by 71 percent for infants under 12 months old and by up to 59 percent for toddlers 1 to 4 years old. Booster seats can reduce the chance of injury for 4 to 8 year olds by 45 percent compared to using safety belts alone.

Children under the age of 1 or who weigh less than 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing child seat. A child over 40 pounds must use either a child seat or booster until they turn 8 or reach 4 feet, 9 inches tall so that the adult belt fits correctly.

A grant was awarded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to fund the blitz.

For more information, call Capt. Brandon Bowdle at 503-434-7506 or Deputy Steve Wilkinson at 503-434-7506.

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