Safe Kids offering seat restraint program

Mar. 07, 2014 @ 08:03 PM

Drivers cited for violating state child safety laws can take advantage of a new diversion program through Henderson-Vance Safe Kids.

“If they attend this program, there is a document we fill out for them to take back to court, and the court will dismiss the charges,” said Chuck Elgin, the vice chairman of Safe Kids.

Elgin said the training program only lasts about 30 minutes and teaches parents how to properly secure a child in the car seat.

“We show them who to install the restraint system, and they have to demonstrate that they know how to do it,” he said of the training.

The Henderson Fire Department will hold training on the first Wednesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m.

Elgin said parents need to bring their child, as well as the ticket and their driver’s license.

The Vance County Rescue Squad will have training from 5 to 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

North Carolina statutes require every driver to have all children properly secured in a car seat or seat belt that meets federal standards.

A child younger than 8 years old and weighing less than 80 pounds must be properly secured in an appropriate restraint system, according to state statutes.

Violations could result in a $25 fine.

“The bottom line is not about reducing the number of tickets,” Elgin said. “If we can save a child and prevent them from being injured, that is the goal.”

Safe Kids will conduct a seat check March 20 at Compare Foods from 1 to 5 p.m.

Elgin said parents can voluntarily drive up and have their car seats checked.

“If a seat is not right, we have seats for replacement,” he said. “We don’t want to turn them out on the street with something that doesn’t fit; that is why the child has to be there.”

Safe Kids provides free car seats during the checks but accepts donations.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.