Safety

Colorado Joins in National Child Passenger Safety Week

September 15, 2014 - Traffic Safety - Many 8 to 15 Year Olds Improperly Restrained.

STATEWIDE—Now that students are back in school most parents are getting back into the routine of the daily drive to school, it’s time to educate parents on the importance of keeping their kids – especially 8 to 15 year olds – safe in their vehicle. Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Team Colorado is participating in National Child Passenger Safety Week,Sept. 14-20, and National Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 20, to help raise awareness about this serious issue.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 15, which means that Child Passenger Safety not only applies to infants and toddlers, but also to tweens who typically ditch the booster seat too early, or sit in the front seat before they’re physically ready. Older children are more often improperly restrained than younger ones. Only 78 percent of 5 to 15 year olds were properly restrained, compared to nearly 93 percent of 0 to 4 year olds, in 2013.

“While infant and toddler deaths due to motor vehicle crashes have decreased in the last several years, the opposite has been occurring with children aged 8 to 15,” said Corporal Heather Cobler, CPS Team Colorado Coordinator for the Colorado State Patrol. “In 2012, 80 percent of kids killed in traffic crashes were between 8 and 15 years old, and 37 percent of those were kids sitting in the vehicle’s front seat. Parents are clearly taking the necessary precautions to protect their young children, but now we are asking parents to take those same precautions with their older kids.”

CPS Team Colorado encourages all parents, childcare providers and anyone else who works with children to take part in National Child Passenger Safety Week. Parents can participate by getting their car and booster seats checked by one of the 1,000 nationally certified CPS Technicians. Schools, childcare providers, and community groups can contact a CPS Technician to get more information and to educate parents. There are more than 160 CPS inspection stations  throughout the state available provide these services. To find an inspection station or contact a CPS Technician in your area please visit CarSeatsColorado.com.

In Colorado, Child Passenger Safety violations are a primary offense. There are more than 12,000 law enforcement officers who can stop a vehicle after observing an improperly or unrestrained child. The minimum fine for each unrestrained child is $82. Last year, 1,123 CPS citations were issued in Colorado – don’t be one of those parents this year.

It is cost effective to make sure your children, tweens and teens are properly restrained. The average cost of a booster seat ranges from $20-$50, which is less than the cost of paying a ticket, and much less than the cost of paying medical bills for your child should they suffer injuries as a result of being improperly restrained in a crash.

Many resources – including posters, brochures and infographics - are available online at CarSeatsColorado.com.

In 2012, nearly 2,500 children were injured and eight were killed in motor vehicle crashes. CPS Team Colorado supports local child passenger safety technicians, law enforcement, emergency services, non-profits and many other professionals who are dedicated to protecting children of any age in motor vehicles. They help by implementing CPS training programs and encouraging parents and caregivers to take the necessary steps to protect their children. More information can be found at CarSeatsColorado.com.

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal