Community Programs

Traffic SafetyBuckle Up America!

· Traffic crashes kill over 40,000 people a year

. Traffic crashes are the #1 cause of child deaths.

· Every 9 seconds someone in America is injured in a traffic crash and every 13 minutes someone is killed.

· Two-thirds of the drivers and passengers killed in traffic crashes are not buckled up.

· Everyday in America, around 900 children are injured and seven are killed in car crashes. Half of those killed would have been alive today if they had been properly protected.

· The cost of traffic crashes to all of us as a society is $150 Billion every year.

Car Seats:

Car seats come in many sizes and designs. There is no "best" seat. The best seat for you is the one you'll use every time your child rides in your car. There are four basic types of car seats.

Infant Seats are specially built for babies up to 20 pounds, or about 7 to 9 months old. These tub-shaped beds are easy to use, inexpensive, and fit most cars.

Toddler Seats are designed for children who have outgrown the infant seat and can sit up without support. They can be used for children who weigh between 20 and 40 pounds.

Convertible Seats function both as infant carriers and toddler seats. Although they cost more, you can use the same seat from infancy until your child outgrows it around age four or 40 pounds.

Booster Seats fill the gap between when your child outgrows a car seat and when the child is able to use only a seat belt. Many seatbelts do not properly fit children and may increase the risk of injury during a crash. Booster seats provide a safe, inexpensive transition for children between 40 and 80 pounds.

It is easy to use a car seat correctly if you follow three simple steps...

1. Sit Right.
2. Seat Right.
3. Belt Right.

1. Sit Right. Car seats are designed to hold the child in place and absorb the impact of a crash by spreading the forces over the stronger parts of a child's body. For these reasons, it's critical that your child is sitting correctly in a car seat that is facing the right direction. To do it right, follow these simple rules...

Infant seats should face backwards with the baby riding in a semi-reclined position.

Toddler and booster seats should face forward, with the child sitting upright.

Convertible seats should be used facing backwards with a recline in the infant position, and upright and forward facing in the toddler position.

2. Seat Right. Your child must be secured within the seat itself by the harness and/or straps. If not, the child could be thrown from the seat during a crash and hit the car's interior surfaces. The child could also be ejected from the car. Here are some important points to remember...

Always snugly and completely fasten the harness. In most seats, the harness goes over the child's shoulders and through the legs.

With toddler seats, don't be fooled by models that have a U-shaped, padded armrest. This is only a cosmetic feature. Always fasten the harness.

In convertible seats, thread the harness differently for the infant and the toddler positions. The manufacturer's instructions explain how.

Booster seats may come with their own harness or use the car's lap/shoulder belt. In either case, always secure the child with an upper body restraint.

3. Belt Right. Failing to correctly anchor the seat in the car as recommended by the manufacturer has resulted in seats tipping over, sliding sideways or being ejected from the car completely. It has also resulted in many children being hurt or killed. Anchoring the car seat properly is critical to the seat's performance in a crash.

Convertible and booster seats require extra attention since the car's seat belt is routed differently in each position.

Older seats sometimes require a tether strap attached to the top of the seat and the frame of the car. If you are unsure of the directions for anchoring your car seat, call the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office at (918) 596-5706 or contact the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office at (405) 523-1571.

What the Oklahoma Mandatory Child Restraint law means...

· All drivers, transporting a child four (4) years of age weighing sixty (60) pounds or less shall protect that child by properly using a child passenger restraint system. Children four (4) or five (5) years of age can be protected by use of either a child passenger restraint system or a safety belt.

· Vehicles not equipped with safety belts are exempt from the law, as are non-resident drivers. A child medically unable to wear a safety belt because of a medical condition can also be exempt with a signed, written notification from a physician. The law also does not apply to the drivers of emergency vehicles, such as ambulances.

· Law enforcement officers can stop and subsequently ticket a driver for violation of this law.