MoDOT Warns Drivers To Buckle Up

8 years 5 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, September 21 2010 Sep 21, 2010 Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:25:53 AM CDT September 21, 2010 in News
The Missouri Department of Transportation is warning parents this week to buckle up their kids. Child Passenger Safety Week started Monday with police cracking down on car seat violations.

The Missouri Child Restraint Law requires:Children less than 4 years old or less than 40 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety seat. Children ages 4 through 7 who weigh at least 40 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety sear or booster seat unless they are 80 pounds or 4'9'' tall. Children 8 and over or weighing at least 80 pounds or at least 4'9'' tall are required to be secured by a safety belt or buckled into an appropriate booster seat. All children under the age of 16 must wear a seat belt in a vehicle.

Drivers found with children not buckled up typically receive a 50 dollar fine, but police say the consequences could be a lot greater.Columbia Police Officer Jill Wieneke believes in the importance of keeping children secure in cars. "The leading cause of death for children between 3 and 14 is automobile crashes. So when we see kids kind of loose in cars, it gets our attention," Wieneke said. She also believes that this is why the publicity Child Passenger Safety Week receives is important.

It's the parents that need to be cautious of safety. "Kids can't say, or usually don't say, 'hey mom I need my seat belt on, or hey Mom or Dad need to get in my child safety seat,' sometimes it's up to us to educate," she said. One Mom who doesn't need a reminder about the importance of car seat safety is Martha Echols.

"Well we made sure to read the directions for the car seat really well, and we took her car seat to the fire station to make sure it was installed correctly," she said.

Echols said she sees parents driving without car seats a few times a week.

If you have questions about car seat safety, join in on the first ever Missouri-hosted car seat Twitter party from 1-3 P.M. Thursday, September 23. Certified car seat technicians will answer any questions tweeted to #SaveMoKids on Twitter.com.

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