The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Ad Council and other safety advocates to commemorate National Child Passenger Safety Week, which is Sept. 13-19 this year.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Ad Council and other safety advocates to commemorate National Child Passenger Safety Week, which is Sept. 13-19 this year.
The primary goal of this program is to remind all parents and other adults responsible for children traveling in motor vehicles of the importance of child safety seats and seat belts.
Preliminary statistics indicate that in 2014, 17 children under the age of 8 were killed in traffic crashes, and another 1,578 were injured.
Troopers issued citations to 2,143 drivers who failed to secure children less than 8 years old in a child restraint or booster seat in 2014.
Troopers issued citations to an additional 301 drivers who failed to secure a child weighing 80 pounds or more or over 4 feet, 9 inches tall in a seat belt in 2014.

The Rolla Police Department also to crack down on Missouri’s child safety seat law violators and to reduce highway fatalities and injuries to children.
Missouri law requires all children under the age of 8 to be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat unless they are 80 pounds or 4 feet, 9 inches tall.
Nearly 73 percent of all child restraints are not used correctly.
RPD Chief Sean Fagan said regular child safety seat and safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.
For more information, visit www.saveMOlives.com.


What does Missouri law say?
• Children less than 4 years old are required to use an appropriate child passenger restraint system. [The fine for not complying with the law is $50.]
• Children less than 40 pounds, regardless of age, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child. [The fine for not complying with the law is $50.]
• Children ages 4 to 8 years old who weigh at least 40 pounds, but less than 80 pounds, and are under 4 feet, 9 inches tall, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child. [The fine for not complying with the law is $50.]
• Children ages 8 through 15 must wear seat belts regardless of the type of vehicle in which they are riding or where they are seated (front or back). Like the child restraint law, this is a primary law, meaning you can be pulled over by law enforcement for noncompliance. The fine is $10.
• People less than 18 years of age operating or riding in trucks (regardless of gross weight for which licensed) must wear seat belts.
• No person under age 18 is allowed to ride in the unenclosed bed of a truck with a licensed gross weight of less than 12,000 pounds on lettered highways, federal, state maintained highways and within city limits. There are exemptions for agricultural purposes, special events and parades.
• It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure passengers under the age of 16 are buckled up safely. Those 16 and over are responsible for themselves.


Types of child safety seats
There are many styles of child safety seats from which parents may choose. Infant seats are designed for children up to 22-30 pounds depending on the seat manufacturer. This type of seat should be placed into a vehicle so the infant faces rearward in a semi-reclined position.
It is important to remember rear-facing infant seats should not be used in a front passenger seat equipped with an active air bag. If deployed, an air bag could hit the infant seat and injure or kill the baby. Airbag or not, the back seat is the safest place for a child.
Most convertible child safety seats are designed for children from 5 pounds up to 40-80 pounds, depending on the manufacturer. Like all seats, they have manufacturer’s labels on the side indicating the maximum height and weight of the seat. They recline and face rearward in an infant position and convert to sit upright and face forward for the toddler position.
Most newer convertible seats can hold children who weigh up to 35 or 40 pounds in the rear-facing position. NHTSA recommends keeping children rear facing until they reach the maximum height and weight for the car seat. The child can then be turned around forward facing.
Booster seats are designed for children who have outgrown other safety seats and must be used with an adult lap and shoulder belt. Lap and shoulder belts are designed for children who are at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall or 80 or more pounds. Make sure the lap belt stays low and snug across the lower hip and upper thigh area, and the shoulder belt does not cross the face or the neck.
For safety reasons, the MSHP states that a safety seat that has been in a vehicle during a traffic crash should be replaced.
According to the NHTSA, three out of four child safety seats are installed improperly. Car seat inspection stations are located all over Missouri.
For more information about the proper use of child restraint systems or to schedule a child safety seat inspection, contact the nearest MSHP troop headquarters (Troop I - 573-368-2345) and ask for the public information and education officer, or visit www.seatcheck.org.