YCSO seeks to educate the public on seatbelt safety
The Yamhill County Sheriff's Office recently outlined its plan to educate the community on seatbelt and child restrain safety over the next few weeks. The plan was announced by Sheriff Tim Svenson and will encourage residents to be more conscious of using their seatbelts and restraints.
A release last week by the YSCO called seatbelts and child restraints the "simplest and most effective way to prevent crash-related injuries and fatalities." The office's education effort will run from now through Sep. 1, with law enforcement agencies around the state utilizing federally-funded overtime to teach folks in the community about the dangers of not using seatbelts.
Some of the statistics on motor vehicle crashes are alarming. According to data from the Oregon Department of Transportation, lack of a seatbelt or child restraint was a factor in 22 percent of the state's crash fatalities in 2017.
Nationwide, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death nationwide for children between the ages of 1 and 12. Nearly 1,900 children in that age range were injured in Oregon car crashes in 2017, 9 percent of which were not using child restraints at the time of the crash.
Statistics also show, according to the release, that car seats increase crash survival by 71 percent for infants to 1 years old and 59 percent for kids aged 1 to 4. Booster seats reduce the number of nonfatal injuries in kids age 4 to 8 by a margin of 45 percent, the release said. Seatbelts, used properly, reduce the chance of major injury by 65 percent as well.
Also cited in the release by YCSO is a 2017 law passed in Oregon that requires kids to "ride in a rear-facing safety seat until they are at least 2 years old. A child over age 2 must continue to ride in a car seat with harness or in a booster until they reach age 8 or 4-foot-9 in height and the adult belt fits them correctly."
The new law ups the age requirement for rear-facing seats from age 1 to 2, and it is expected to have a positive impact on the number of serious injuries and fatalities in car accidents.
"The recent law … will better protect the child's head, neck and spine from potential crash injuries," the YCSO release stated. "This is because a rear-facing seat spreads crash forces evenly across the seat and child's body while also limiting forward or sideways motion of the head."
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