- New Jersey will kick-off National Child
Passenger Safety Week, September 21-27,
with a series of car seat inspections designed
to help parents and caregivers learn how
to properly transport children in their
On September 20, known throughout the United
States as “Seat Check Saturday,”
certified safety technicians will be available
at locations around the State to offer instruction
in the proper use of child restraints in
motor vehicles. According to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
nearly 90 percent of child safety seats
are improperly installed in vehicles.
Passenger Safety Week helps bring to the
forefront the critical information parents
and caregivers must have to transport a
child,” Division of Highway Traffic
Safety Director Pam Fischer said. “When
it comes to the safety of young people,
there’s simply no room for mistakes.
Taking the time to learn how to properly
protect our children in a vehicle is truly
a life-saving lesson.”
While the highest level of child restraint
use both nationally and in New Jersey is
for infants under one year of age, parents
are encouraged to take advantage of the
information available from State agencies,
local police departments and traffic safety
organizations, as early as possible, to
ensure they’re fully prepared when
their new baby arrives.
According to the NHTSA, 8,325 children under
the age of five have been saved by the proper
use of child restraints during the past
30 years. In 2006, among children under
five, an estimated 425 lives were saved
by child restraint use.
Fischer, a NHTSA certified child passenger
safety technician and mother, noted that
parents and caregivers are the best role
models for their children and can support
the benefits of seat belt use by buckling
up, every ride.
know that passengers and drivers who buckle-up
are 75 percent less likely to have serious,
life-threatening injuries if they’re
involved in a crash,” Fischer said.
“Young children can have this message
reinforced simply by seeing their parents
and family members properly restrained,
no matter where they are seated in a vehicle.”
Currently, New Jersey’s primary seat
belt law applies to the driver, all front
seat passengers and passengers under the
age of 18 regardless of seating position.
In addition, when the driver holds a Graduated
Driver License all passengers, regardless
of age and seating position, must buckle-up.
Legislation that would require belt use
in all seating positions regardless of age
has passed the Assembly (A-870) and is currently
awaiting action by the Senate (S-18).
To maximize child passenger safety, parents
and caregivers should adhere to the following
guidelines for determining which restraint
system is best suited to protect children
based on age and size:
the best possible protection, keep infants
in the back seat, in rear-facing child
safety seats, up to the maximum height
or weight limit of that particular seat.
At a minimum, infants should ride rear-facing
until at least age 1 and 20 pounds.
children outgrow their rear-facing seats
(at least age 1 and 20 pounds), they should
ride in forward-facing child safety seats,
in the back seat, until they reach the
upper weight or height limit of the particular
seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
children outgrow their forward-facing
seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds),
they should ride in booster seats, in
the back seat, until the vehicle seat
belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly
when the lap belt lays across the upper
thighs and the shoulder belt fits across
the chest (usually when the child is at
least 4’ 9” tall).
children outgrow their booster seats,
they should be restrained in seat belts
in the back seat (until at least 13 years
part of Child Passenger Safety Week, the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
working with the New Jersey Division of
Highway Traffic Safety, the New York Governor’s
Traffic Safety Committee, the Pennsylvania
Traffic Injury Prevention Project, AAA Clubs
of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania,
and SafeKids New Jersey and New York will
also host the 7th Annual Child Passenger
Safety Technical Conference.
annual event, the three-day conference brings
together more than 600 child safety advocates
from the Northeast and across the country,
to share information about the latest technology,
training and educational materials available
in child passenger safety. Scheduled to
take place in Atlantic City, September 24
- 26, this year’s conference includes
a comprehensive agenda featuring a wide
variety of workshops led by State and national
child safety experts.
information on child passenger safety, including
the conference agenda, Seat Check Saturday
inspection sites, and a list of permanent
fitting stations that parents and caregivers
can visit throughout the year for assistance
with their child seats, is available on
the Division of Highway Traffic Safety’s
website, at www.nj.gov/oag/hts/CPS-week_resources.html.
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