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CHP Focused on Safe, Secure Rides for Children

SACRAMENTO – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is dedicating the third week of September to ensuring California’s youngest motor vehicle passengers are safe and secure while traveling on the state’s roadways.

National Child Passenger Safety Week is September 17-23, 2023. The week serves as an opportunity to educate and encourage parents and caregivers to make certain that every child is properly restrained for every trip, facing the correct direction, and in the correct safety seat for their age and size.

Oakhurst CHP will be hosting a free Car Seat Inspection at the Oakhurst CHP Office (no appointment needed) on Wednesday, September 20 from 10:00am-5:00pm.

CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee

“Child safety seats, when correctly installed, afford the best protection for infants and young children. The CHP has trained Child Passenger Safety Technicians available in communities throughout the state, who offer parents and caregivers free, one-on-one instruction and car seat installation to help achieve the best fit for their child.” –CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee

Leading Cause of Death

Motor vehicle traffic crashes are the leading cause of death of children in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021, 711 child passengers ages 12 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and in 2020 more than 63,000 were injured. Of the children who were killed in a crash, 36 percent were not buckled up. These deaths can be avoided. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, child safety seats have been shown to reduce fatal injury by 71% for infants (under the age of 1) and by 54% for toddlers (1-4 years old).

CHP Can Help

The CHP has trained thousands of uniformed and nonuniformed personnel to be Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technicians since the program began in 1999. CHP CPS Technicians provide safety seat inspections, education, and hands-on training for parents and caregivers year-round.

Photo courtesy of the California Highway Patrol

If you are not confident how to properly secure your child in a safety seat, contact your local CHP Area office, and ask to speak with a child passenger safety technician. Click on this link to locate a local CHP Area office anywhere in California.

Laws and Recommendations

California law requires children under the age of two, weighing less than 40 pounds or below 40 inches tall, ride in a rear-facing car seat. All children under the age of eight must ride in the back seat in an age-appropriate safety seat. Additionally, it is recommended that all children 13 and under should ride in the back seat. For more information about child passenger safety, visit the CHP Child Safety Seat Programs.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

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