Press Release - 09-22-2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 22, 2017
NEW YORK STATE DMV AND THE GOVERNOR’S TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE
LAUNCH CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY VIDEO SERIES
Videos highlight proper installation and use of car seats and child safety restraints
Car seat inspections offered statewide through September 23 for Child Passenger Safety Week
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today launched a series of Public Service Announcements, entitled “Four Most Common Car Seat Mishaps,” which details proper techniques to keep your child safe while travelling. The first PSA in the series, Car Seat Mishap #1: Using the Wrong Seat or Position, is now available for viewing on YouTube. Additional videos will be added in the coming weeks. The series was launched during National Child Passenger Safety Week, when traffic safety partners, law enforcement agencies, and communities across the country raise awareness of the importance of choosing appropriate car seats and buckling children up correctly. The campaign provides an increased number of statewide free seat checks throughout the week and on National Seat Check Saturday, September 23.
“National Child Passenger Safety Week provides parents and caregivers the opportunity to learn proper seat belt techniques and access important traffic safety materials to keep their children secure as they travel our roadways," said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting GTSC Chair. “This week-long effort should be a reminder to always know the proper ways to safely buckle up your child while travelling.”
GTSC supports child-seat checks as part of the Child Passenger Safety Program, helping state and local police agencies and community safety partners offer free child car seat inspections by certified child passenger safety technicians. The GTSC website provides a list of seat checks available across the state during Child Passenger Safety Week and on National Seat Check Saturday. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has information about car seat ratings on its website and assists consumers with registering their car seats to ensure they will be notified in case of a recall.
In 1984, New York State's first child passenger restraint law went into effect, and in 1985 the state's mandatory seat belt law was enacted. The seat belt law includes mandatory use of a federally-approved child safety seat for children under four years of age. Since then, New York State has made great strides in increasing seat belt use. In July, GTSC reported that New Yorkers set a record for compliance with New York’s first-in-the-nation seat belt law. A total of 93.41 percent of drivers and passengers clicked their belts. The state last set a record of 92 percent in 2015 and kept compliance at that level in 2016.
NHTSA cites car crashes as a leading cause of death for children under 13 years old nationwide. According to NHTSA, child safety seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars. During last year’s Child Passenger Safety Week seat check events, 90 percent of the 899 seats inspected were found to be improperly installed, and only 90 had been installed correctly. A 2012 NHTSA survey found that 20 percent of all drivers of child passengers did not read any instructions on how to properly install their child restraints, yet 90 percent felt “confident” or “very confident” that their car seats and booster seats were installed correctly.
Under New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law, all children must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle until they reach their eighth birthday. An appropriate child restraint system is one that meets the child's size and weight recommended by the manufacturer.
Parents and caregivers should also check to make sure their child’s safety seat is installed properly before each ride and that their children are properly buckled up for every ride. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has developed child passenger safety tip cards to help keep children safe in motor vehicles: “4 Steps 4 Kids,” which provides information about the right type of restraint for a child’s age and size, and “Under 13? Backseat and Buckle Up!” aimed at keeping kids ages 8 to 12 safe in cars. Additionally, NHTSA provides a series of videos that instruct parents and caregivers how to install child safety seats.