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Extra patrols hoped to find vehicles with improperly secured car seats, safety belts

Beginning Monday, August 19 through Sunday, Sept. 1, law enforcement agencies throughout Oregon — including West Linn — will use federally funded overtime to educate the public about safety belt and child seat laws including a law passed in 2017 increasing safety for children under age two. This new law extends the rear-facing requirement from the previous age one to age two, and will better protect the child's head, neck, and spine from potential crash injuries. This is because a rear-facing seat spreads the crash forces evenly across the seat and child's body while also limiting forward or sideways motion of the head. A child over age two must continue to ride in a car seat with a harness or in a booster until they reach age eight or 4'9" in height and the adult belt fits them correctly.

Here are some statistics that show us how important it is for children to properly use child safety seats:

N In 2017, over one-third (35%) of children killed in passenger vehicles were not restrained in car seats, booster seats or seat belts.

N In 2017, among children under 5, car seats saved an estimated 312 lives. A total of 371 children could have survived if they had been properly buckled up 100% of the time.

N Every 32 seconds in 2017, one child under 13 in a passenger vehicle was involved in a crash.

In passenger cars, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions were 58% and 59% , respectively.

The West Linn Police Department will be deploying extra patrol cars throughout the Safety Belt Blitz that will specifically be on the lookout for vehicles whose occupants are not properly secured with seat belts/child safety seats. Drivers, it is your responsibility to make sure everyone riding in your vehicle is appropriately belted in. Everyone driving, please take care of each other! 

For help selecting or installing child car seats, consult the seat manufacturer's instructions, your vehicle's owner's manual, or visit a local child seat fitting station listed at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#inspection-inspection or at http://oregonimpact.org/car-seat-resources.htm.


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