TxDOT Offers Free Child Safety Seat Inspections to Save Young Lives

Child deaths on Texas roadways up 25 percent in 2014

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Texas Department of Transportation offers free child safety seat
checks at the agency’s 25 statewide district offices and encourages all
caregivers to make an appointment as part of national Child Passenger
Safety Week, Sept. 13-19. TxDOT reminds all Texans that properly
restraining their children while riding in vehicles is an everyday,
year-round responsibility. It’s also the law.

“We’re not going to stop until every child in Texas is buckled into the
correct safety seat for their age and size,” said TxDOT Executive
Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “It’s not only the law, but it’s
also unacceptable for any child to die or be injured on our roads –
especially if those deaths and injuries could have been prevented with
the proper use of a safety seat.”

In 2014, crashes on Texas roads killed 81 children younger than 8 years
of age. In 2013, that number was 67. Texas law requires all children
under 8 years old – unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches – to be
in a child safety seat whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle.
Failure to properly restrain a child can result in a ticket up to $250.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports most parents
are confident they have correctly installed their child’s safety seat,
but 59 percent have not. Common child safety seat errors include:
installing the seat too loosely; putting the harness straps through the
wrong slots; leaving harness straps too loose; positioning the chest
clip incorrectly; and using the wrong seat belt path.

Drivers should refer to their specific child safety seat manufacturer’s
manual for instructions on how to install the safety seat. The vehicle
owner’s manual also includes information on the proper placement of the
safety seat and proper use of the seat belt or LATCH system.

To schedule a free child safety seat check with a nearby TxDOT Traffic
Safety Specialist, text the word “seat” and your ZIP code to 876526.
Drivers also can visit www.SaveMeWithASeat.com
to learn if a child should be in a rear-facing seat, forward-facing seat
or booster seat.

During Child Passenger Safety Week, two TxDOT safety demonstration vans
will travel the state to show caregivers how to choose and install the
correct safety seat for their child. The demo vans will appear at safety
seat check events and media outlets.

For more information, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov
or (512) 463-8700.

The information contained in this report represents reportable data
collected from the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report (CR-3). This
information was received and processed by the department as of Sept. 1,

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining
80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public
transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 12,000 employees are
committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable
transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system,
addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a
Best-in-Class state agency. Find out more at txdot.gov.
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Media Relations, 512-463-8700