The Sierra Vista Police Department will conduct heightened enforcement and public awareness of passenger safety laws in support of National Child Passenger Safety Week from Sunday, Sept. 23, through Saturday, Sept. 29.
Police officers will exercise zero tolerance of child restraint and seat belt violations during Child Passenger Safety Week. Officers will focus on enhanced enforcement of the following laws:
- A person shall not operate a motor vehicle when transporting a child who is under the age of 8 and is also less than 4 feet 9 inches in height unless that child is properly secured in a child restraint system.
- Any passenger who is younger than 16 years old must have their lap and shoulder belt properly fastened while the vehicle is in motion.
- Anyone in the front seats of a motor vehicle must have the lap and shoulder belt properly fastened while the vehicle is in motion.
In partnership with Sierra Vista Fire & Medical Services, the Sierra Vista Police Department will also conduct a public awareness campaign on the “Sierra Vista Police, Fire, and EMS” Facebook page. Posts scheduled throughout the week will share statistics, resources, and information regarding child passenger safety.
“Traffic collisions are a leading cause of death for young children and these deaths are often preventable through proper use of child safety seats, boosters, and seat belts,” says Cpl. Tim Wachtel, SVPD public information officer. “Nearly half of all car seats for children are used or installed incorrectly and we want to help parents do better.”
From 2012 to 2016, 3,268 children under 13 were killed while riding in passenger vehicles and the annual total has been increasing since 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The state’s Child Passenger Safety Week campaign is conducted by the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, in conjunction with the national campaign sponsored by NHTSA.
Free child safety seats and seat checks
Sierra Vista Fire & Medical Services offers free child passenger seats and seat checks, pending completion of a hands-on class. Appointments must be made in advance by calling Fire Station 3 at (520) 417-4400 or using the online form so a technician can be scheduled.
Since 2008, Sierra Vista Fire & Medical Services has provided 1,031 child car safety seats and performed more than 1,300 car seat safety checks. This program is made possible by a grant from the Tucson Medical Center Foundation, which is part of the Children’s Miracle Network.