HDOT reminds caregivers to buckle up their keiki every trip, every time

Posted on Sep 20, 2018 in Highways News, Main, News

Free car seat check events to be held during National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 23-29

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), together with all four county police departments and child passenger safety advocates, launches National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 23-29. During Child Passenger Safety Week and year-round, Hawaii’s child passenger safety technicians are committed to educating parents and caregivers on the proper installation of child safety seats and correct use of seat belts when traveling with their keiki.

“Car crashes continue to be a major leading cause of unintentional death for keiki in Hawaii. The use of age and size-appropriate car seats is the best way to keep babies and children safe,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Jade Butay. “We’re partnering with the county police departments and trained safety technicians to remind everyone that Hawaii’s keiki need to be buckled in properly every trip, every time.”

The best way for parents and caregivers to protect their child is to use a child safety seat that best fits their child and vehicle. Complimentary public car seat check events will be held on National Seat Check Saturday, Sept. 29, at the following locations and times:

Hawaii Island
East Hawaii
391 E. Makaala Street, Hilo
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

West Hawaii
Parker School
65-1224 Lindsey Road, Waimea
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Waipio Shopping Center
94-1040 Waipio Uka Street, Waipahu
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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

Child Passenger Safety Week community seat check events will also be held throughout the week as follows:

Oahu (Sunday, Sept. 23)
Adventist Health Castle
640 Ulukahiki Street, Kailua
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hawaii (Tuesday, Sept. 25)
Naalehu Police Station
95-5355 Mamalahoa Highway, Kau
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

In Hawaii, children under 4 years old are required to ride in a child safety seat; children 4 through 7 years old 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. 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, 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.

Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (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

NHTSA recommends registering all car seats and booster seats with the 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, visit www.nhtsa.gov/carseat

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.

Nationwide child passenger safety statistics from NHTSA:

  • A child under 13 years old was involved in a passenger vehicle crash every 33 seconds in 2016.
  • From 2012 to 2016, there were 3,268 children under 13 killed while riding in passenger vehicles. These numbers have been steadily increasing since 2014.
  • On average, nearly two children under 13 were killed every day in 2016 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups and vans.
  • In 2016, over one-third (35 percent) of children under 13 killed in passenger vehicles were not restrained in car seats, booster seats or seat belts.
  • NHTSA’s latest research shows that nearly 2 out of 3 car seats are misused. When used correctly, car seats decrease the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in cars, and by 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively, for infants and toddlers in light trucks.