MSHP highlights National Child Passenger Safety Week

Tips, precautions on properly securing children

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO. (KBSI) – The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) joins with the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) to commemorate National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 18-24, 2022).

According to nhtsa.gov, 42% of children killed in car crashes in 2020 were unrestrained. 46% of car seats and booster seats are used incorrectly.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol encourages every driver to make sure the child passengers in their vehicles are restrained properly.

Common mistakes are made, which is why Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Clark Parrott reminds us of what they are and how to avoid them.

“So, some of the common mistakes that we see is one, when you have installed a car seat in a vehicle whether it’s a car, pick-up truck, or anything like that, wherever you got an anchor, and this one is anchored with a tether system at the base of it. That’s where it is supposed to be. It should not move more than an inch,” explained Sgt. Parrott.

The car seat size will depend on your child’s age and size. It is recommended to refer to the vehicles owner manual on how to install the car seat properly.

There is no one “safest” child safety seat. Use the one that fits your child, fits in your vehicles correctly, and one that you will correctly use every trip, every time.

Listed below are the child car seat laws in Missouri:

  • Children younger than four years old are required to use an appropriate child passenger restraint system.
  • Children less than 40 pounds, regardless of age, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.
  • Children ages four to eight years old who weigh at least 40 pounds, but less than 80 pounds, and are under 4’9” tall, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child.
  • Children ages eight 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.
  • Persons 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.

For more information about the proper use of child restraint systems or to schedule a child safety seat inspection, contact the nearest Missouri State Highway Patrol troop headquarters and ask for the public information and education officer, or visit seatcheck.org.

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