Gov. Kathy Hochul announced free child car seat checks by certified child passenger safety technicians will be available across the state during Child Passenger Safety Week, which starts Sunday, Sept. 17, and concludes with National Seat Check Saturday on Sept. 23. The events are part of a yearlong safety initiative in which state and local law enforcement agencies work together with various community safety partners to offer free fittings.
"As a governor, mother, and grandmother, keeping our children safe is a top priority,” Hochul said. “Car seat checks can save lives, and I encourage all parents and caregivers to use this opportunity to ensure their children are properly secured in the appropriate booster seat or car seat to protect our kids and save lives.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021, 1,184 children under the age of 15 were killed in traffic crashes, 40% of those children were unrestrained. That same year, an estimated 445 were injured every day in traffic cashes while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans.
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "It’s a proven fact that correctly using a car seat, booster seat or seat belt saves lives. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee provides parents and caregivers with safety information and year-round car seat inspection opportunities to ensure their child safety seat is properly installed. These events are just one of the many ways New York is helping to protect young lives on our roadways.”
According to NHTSA, when used correctly, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants (younger than 1 year old) and by 54% for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in passenger cars. While most parents believe they have properly installed their child's car seat, the seats were installed incorrectly in 46% of cases.
Hochul’s team said, “Trained technicians will use the model of ‘Learn, Practice, and Explain’ to educate caregivers on how to select a child restraint that will fit their child, fit their vehicle and be used correctly every time.
“Parents and caregivers can find free Child Passenger Safety Week car seat check events in their region, or make an appointment at a year-round regional car seat fitting site.
“In addition to car seat fittings, parents and caregivers can view a series of videos produced by NHSTA on proper installation of rear-facing and forward-facing car seats and booster seats. NHTSA also offers information on registering a car seat, finding the right car seat based a child’s age and size and see ratings on all car seats.”