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Child Seat Safety
Officer Kevin Monahan checks to insure proper infant seat installation.
Inspector Kevin Monahan, A certified Child Safety Seat Technician
checks to insure proper installation of a child seat.

Enhanced Child Passenger Safety Law Effective July 10 Will Increase Booster Seat Use

In April 2008, Governor Deval Patrick signed Senate Bill 2018, dubbed the Booster Seat Bill, into law.  This law went into effect on July 10, 2008.  This enhancement of the Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Law requires that all children riding in passenger motor vehicles must be in a federally approved child passenger restraint that is properly fastened and secured until they are 8 years old or over 57” tall.  This will significantly increase the number of children who will be required to ride in a booster seat. 

The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division with its partners is working to implement the new child passenger safety law and ensure all children are safer when riding in motor vehicles.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death among children ages 3 to 14. 

A major component of the implementation of the new law will be child safety seat checkpoints offered around the Commonwealth.  Checkpoints are important because most parents do not properly restrain their children in vehicles.  At checkpoints nationally certified technicians inspect child safety seats and educate parents and guardians about how to correctly use their children’s seats.

The Concord Police Department offers a Children’s Safety Seat Checkpoint . To make a checkpoint appointment or more information regarding child safety seats clink then link below.

 Are you and your child passengers properly restrained while driving?
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 3 to 14 in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). An average of 5 children age 14 and younger were killed and 640 injured in motor vehicle crashes each day across the United States in 2005. Even a sudden stop can seriously injure a child who is not riding securely in the right type of child safety seat.
State and local police and others involved in child passenger safety (CPS) work continuously to educate parents and caregivers on how to safely transport children in motor vehicles. But state and local police are ready to enforce the Massachusetts CPS Law if necessary to protect children. In 2006 Massachusetts drivers were issued 1,060 CPS Law violations for unrestrained children.

Tips for "best practices" when driving with children as passengers:

·       Children from birth to 1 year and less than 20-22 pounds should be in a rear-facing
        infant seat. It is safest to have these seats in the back seat and away from air bags.
·       Children 1 to 4 years and 20 to 40 pounds should ride in a forward-facing child seat.
·       Children who have outgrown a child safety seat, typically when they are over 40
        pounds and 5 years of age, should transition to a booster seat which assists in the
        proper fit of a safety belt.
·       Children who are over 57" and 80 pounds, typically around 8 years of age, are ready
        to use just a safety belt.
·       Children 12 and younger should never sit in the front seat. The safest seating position
        is in the back seat, away from air bags if possible.
·       Children 13 years of age or older should ride in the front seat, but should position their
        seat as far back as possible from the air bag.
·       Always wear your lap and shoulder belt when driving -- it protects you in case of a
        crash and it sets a good example for children.

The Concord Police periodically hosts a Child Passenger Safety Checkpoint Safety Day, where safety seats/booster seats are inspected for proper installation by a certified technician, free of cost. Check the Concord Journal for announcements on the next Safety Day or for additional information, contact Inspector Kevin Monahan or Officer Jeffrey Young or Officer Chip Moore at 978-318-3400 for more information and installation

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