P.O. Box 160
Trenton, NJ
Contact: Mike Horan
Dave Weinstein
RELEASE: September 6, 2006

MVC/Highway Traffic Safety Focus on Children at Risk
Highlight Child Passenger Safety Month

(HAMILTON TOWNSHIP) – Sharon A. Harrington, Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), today, visited the Hamilton Township Police Department to bring attention to the issue of child safety and celebrate Child Passenger Safety Month. Joined by Highway Traffic Safety Director, Roberto Rodriguez, and Hamilton Township Police Chief, James Collins, Harrington noted the importance of installing and using proper child safety seats when traveling with young passengers.

“As the primary state agency governing motor vehicles, it is only appropriate that MVC bring attention to the safety of young passengers,” said Harrington. “MVC ensures that drivers are fully prepared to safely operate a vehicle, but it is just as critical that we emphasize the importance of taking care of passengers before hitting the road, especially children. Show your children that you love them and keep them safe and sound inside the vehicle.”

Child Passenger Safety Month, which runs through September, is part of the “Boost for Safety” awareness campaign created through a partnership between the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The goal was to bring awareness to the importance of correctly restraining children in automobiles, including using booster seats for older children ages four to eight.

“A child passenger safety seat is no guarantee of a youngster’s safety unless that seat is installed correctly,” said Rodriguez.  “The proper use of child passenger safety seats is one of the simplest and most effective methods available for protecting the lives of our young children in the event of a motor vehicle crash.” 

Many law enforcement and other organizations throughout the state continue to be a valuable resource for parents as they host child safety events where certified specialists provide parents with pertinent information and assist them with properly installing the child safety seats in vehicles.

According to NHTSA, more than 40,000 child passengers under age four are injured or killed in car crashes annually, while over 50,000 between ages four and eight are injured or killed annually.

Doing its part to combat this problem, New Jersey enacted a Child Passenger Safety law in 2001 requiring children up to age 8 or 80 pounds to ride in a safety or booster seat in the rear seat of the vehicle. Passengers 8 to 18 must wear a seatbelt when traveling in a vehicle.