Beginning January 30 and extending through Sunday, February 12, Crook County Sheriff’s Office and the Prineville Police Department as well as agencies throughout Oregon will use federally funded overtime to educate the public about safety belt and child seat laws including a law passed in 2017 increasing safety for children under age two.
ODOT crash data for 2020 shows lack of safety belt or child restraint use was a factor in 32 percent or 100 of a total 311 motor vehicle occupant fatalities. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading nationwide cause of death for children ages one through 12 years old. It is estimated that car seats may increase crash survival by 71 percent for infants under one year old and by up to 59 percent for toddlers aged one to four. In 2017 safety belts saved an estimated 14, 955 lives nationally.
The focus of the safety belt enforcement is on the proper use of safety belts, child safety seats and fitting. For help selecting or installing child car seats, consult the seat manufacturer’s instructions, you vehicle owner’s manual or visit a local child seat fitting station listed at: nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#inspection-inspection or oregonimpact.org/Child_Passenger_Safety.