Take advantage of State Police safety service
Louisiana State Police Troop I will begin checking child safety seats for proper installation every Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m., at Troop I, 121 E. Pont Des Mouton in Lafayette.
Troopers certified as child seat technicians will be on hand to show parents and caregivers how to properly install child seats. People who cannot make it on the scheduled day and time may call (337) 262-1917 to schedule an appointment. While it is preferred that the child is present for the installation, it is not required. Seat installations will also be done for parents expecting the birth of a child. This is a free service, and no person who arrives at the troop to have the child seat checked will receive a citation for not having it properly installed.
Troopers will cover several different safety topics with drivers and occupants during the installation. They will hand out safety information to drivers about proper restraint use, as well as cover vehicle manufacturer guidelines for proper seat installation.
Louisiana Law requires children from birth to one year, or weighing less than 20 pounds, to be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat. Children who are at least one to four years old, or at least 20 pounds but less than 40 pounds, must be restrained in a forward-facing child seat. Children who are four to six years old, and weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 60 pounds, must be restrained in a child booster seat. Children who are six years old, or weigh more than 60 pounds, must be restrained in a safety belt or child booster seat. A child who, because of age or weight, can be placed in more than one category shall be placed in the more protective category. State law also requires all occupants of a motor vehicle be properly restrained.
Any person found guilty of violating the child safety seat statute could be fined up to $100 dollars for the first offense, and up to $500 for the second or subsequent offense.
According to the website safekids.org, young children restrained in child safety seats have an 80 percent lower risk of fatal injury than those who are unrestrained. Child safety seats and safety belts, when installed and used properly, can prevent injuries and save lives. Each year, an estimated 975 child occupants under 14 years of age die as a result of a motor vehicle incident.
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