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PennDOT, police urge seat checks

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania Traffic Injury Prevention Project encourage drivers to take advantage of safety seat check resources across the state as the agencies mark National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 19 to 25.

Saturday, Sept. 25 has been designated as “National Seat Check Saturday.”

“Seat belts and car seats are the best defense in a crash,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “PennDOT urges all parents and caregivers to take time this week to learn more about the importance of correctly selecting, installing, and using car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.”

PSP personnel certified as Child Passenger Safety technicians will be conducting free child seat fitting events across the state. Caregivers can have their car seats checked for suitability, receive instruction on the proper installation, and have seat(s) installed, learn to properly harness a child in a seat and check seats for recalls. A full list of local free car seat fitting events is available on PSP’s website.

Pennsylvania’s primary seat belt law requires all occupants younger than 18 to wear a seat belt when riding anywhere in a vehicle. Children under the age of two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and children under the age of four must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children must ride in a booster seat until their eighth birthday.

A secondary law also requires drivers and front-seat passengers 18 or older to buckle up. If motorists are stopped for a traffic violation and are not wearing their seat belt, they can receive a second ticket and second fine.

Because of the potential dangers associated with air bag deployment, children 12 and younger should always ride buckled in a vehicle’s back seat.

For more information on how to keep passengers safe, or if you are unable to afford a car seat, call 1-800-CAR-BELT or visit www.pakidstravelsafe.org to find the nearest car seat loan program.

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