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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 23, 2015
GOVERNOR'S TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES NEARLY 20,000 CHILDREN KEPT SAFER BY SAFETY SEAT CHECKS IN 2015
Nearly $1 Million in Federal Funding Supports Child Safety Seat Checks
The New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today announced nearly 20,000 child safety seats were inspected in 2015 as part of its Child Passenger Safety (CPS) initiative, which aims to prevent injuries to child passengers through proper use of car seats and booster seats. GTSC awards federal highway safety grant funds to local, state, and not-for-profit agencies for projects to improve highway safety and reduce deaths and serious injuries due to crashes. GTSC awarded more than $962,000 in 184 federal grants to CPS programs and supported 147 new permanent child seat fitting stations.
"GTSC's top mission each and every year is to keep the state's roadways safe for all New Yorkers, and that includes our youngest passengers," said Terri Egan, Acting GTSC Chair and New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Executive Deputy Commissioner. "We are incredibly proud of the work this CPS program has done to equip parents and caregivers with the tools they need to keep their children safe. I commend GTSC on a successful year, and look forward to its progress in 2016."
New York State's CPS program provides grant funding in four areas, each designed to educate and improve the safety of child passengers. The funding supports:
The following 2015 achievements were supported by GTSC efforts:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle-related injuries are the leading cause of death for children aged five to nineteen in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that every 34 seconds, a child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash; in 2013, more than a third of children under 13 killed in car crashes were completely unrestrained by car seats or seat belts. In passenger cars, child safety seats have been found to reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers.
New York State's seat belt law covers all front seat occupants and children up to age 16 riding in the rear seat of vehicles. Children under the age of four must be in a federally-approved child safety car seat and children under eight must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system, which may be a car seat, a booster, or an approved safety vest. The penalty for violations of child passenger restraint laws is a fine of no less than $25, and no more than $100, and three license penalty points for the driver.
For more information on vehicle restraints, car seat recommendations for children, and child passenger safety, visit the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee website.