Hawaii participates in National Child Passenger Safety Week with free car seat checks statewide

Posted on Sep 15, 2017 in Highways News, Main, News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), together with all four county police departments and child passenger safety advocates, will participate in National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 17-23, 2017. During Child Passenger Safety Week and year round, Hawaii’s child passenger safety technicians are dedicated to educating parents and caregivers on how to properly install child safety seats and how to correctly buckle up their keiki at all times.

“As parents and caregivers, it’s our job to keep our keiki safe,” said HDOT Director Ford Fuchigami. “By ensuring children are properly restrained in a vehicle, we are eliminating preventable deaths and injuries.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015 nearly 1 in 3 children (12 and younger) who were killed in a traffic crash were not in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, and 6,000 of the estimated 116,000 children who were injured in a traffic crash were unsecured.

The best way for parents and caregivers to protect their child is to use a child safety seat that best fits their child and their vehicle. Free public car seat check events will be held on National Seat Check Saturday, Sept. 23, at the following locations and times:  

Waipio Shopping Center, Waipahu
94-1040 Waipio Uka Street
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Walmart, Lihue
3-3300 Kuhio Highway
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Target, Hilo
391 East Makaala Street
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Target, Kailua-Kona
74-5455 Makala Boulevard
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In Hawaii, children under the age of 4 are required to ride in a child safety seat; children 4 through 7 years of age must ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat. Violators are required to appear in court, and if convicted, must attend a four-hour class for putting children in danger. They may also be assessed a penalty of up to $500.

Parents and caregivers can check the following to determine when a child can be moved from a child safety seat to a booster seat:

  • The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest, and not cross the neck or face.
  • The lap belt must lie snugly across the child’s upper thighs, not the stomach.
  • The child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back.
  • The child can stay seated properly during the entire trip.

To educate the public about Hawaii’s child restraint law, the HDOT is airing public service announcements on television and in movie theaters statewide. Hawaii’s child passenger safety media campaign is 100 percent federally funded.

Hawaii has more than 300 certified child passenger safety technicians, including firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical professionals, and parents. All technicians have been trained to provide instruction on choosing the right car seat, installing it, and using it correctly.

NHTSA also reminds the public to register all car seats and booster seats with the car seat manufacturer for a notification in the event of a recall. For more information on car seat safety and to locate a certified child passenger safety technician, click here.

Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by NHTSA. For more on child safety, as well as a list of child restraint inspection stations and community car seat checks, visit www.kipchawaii.org or www.safercar.gov/parents