Many more parents putting kids in safety seats

The state Office of Traffic Safety says there has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of motorists putting their children in safety seats over the past year.

Chuck Abbott, director of the office, said a July 2002 survey showed only 37.2 percent of children observed in safety seats. This past July, he said the percentage jumped to 62.6 percent.

While that's a significant improvement, Abbott said it's still far less than the national average of 95 percent.

Nevada law requires children under age 5 and 40 pounds be in a child seat in a motor vehicle. The fine for not properly restraining a small child is currently a maximum of $100. Abbott said that increases to a maximum of $500 next June.

He said nearly as dangerous, however, is the fact that as many as 90 percent of child safety seats observed in Nevada are installed incorrectly.

"Our technicians see compatibility problems with the seat and the vehicle, the wrong seat for the size of the child or parents not following the manufacturer's and vehicle owner's manual instructions," he said.

A clinic will be held Saturday in the Costco parking lot at the south end of Carson City to show parents how to properly install child safety seats in their vehicles.


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