Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prince George's County Police Department Found 94% Misuse of Car Seats

Prince George’s County, Maryland… The Prince George’s County Police Department’s Certified Child Passenger Seat Technicians conducted a car seat check-up during a community day event hosted by the Prince George’s Community Federal Credit Union last Saturday. Virtually all seats were re-installed. Some were replaced during the check-up.

On October 22, 2011, during a day of face-painting, moon bouncing, information sharing and networking, trained car seat checkers, some coming from Anne Arundel and St. Mary’s Counties, went about the business of making sure that car seats and boosters were properly installed and safe for use. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in Maryland, four out of five car seats are installed wrong. In Prince George’s County, that rate is not just too high, it is alarming. Determined to reduce the rate of misuse in car seats, the police department recently trained thirteen of its officers to be Certified Child Passenger Seat Technicians (CPST). Car seat check-ups will be performed regularly throughout the County until the rate of misuse drops.

Technicians are trained by Maryland Kids In Safety Seats (KISS) to check for recalls, ensure that car seats and boosters are installed correctly, that the harness and vehicle installation are correct for the child, and to educate others on the proper installation and use of car seats.
The thirty-two hour course is vigorous, intense, combines classroom and hands-on instruction, and leaves no room for mistakes. Students failing any one of five tests or missing more than an hour of instruction are invited to leave the class.

The eleven Prince George’s County police officers taking the course all succeeded, were presented certificates of completion on Thursday, and performed car seat check-ups on Saturday. In addition to 94% misuse of the car seats checked on Saturday, thirteen were replaced by the Credit Union due to recalls, age, condition, or inappropriateness for the child.

For more information, contact the Prince George’s County Press Information Office at (301) 772-4710.

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