448 citations issued for child passenger safety violations - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

448 citations issued for child passenger safety violations

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A child safety seat used properly might have made the difference between life and death.

That's the opinion from police and safety experts about the fatal crash June 25 that killed a six-month-old girl and injured three additional children and four adults.

Police say the baby girl was in a car safety seat that's wasn't properly secured. The seat held by a passenger in the back of an overcrowded car. Four children and three adults were inside the car at the time of the collision with a pick-up on Winchester.

Getting a child safety seat varies in price, but learning how to use it correctly won't cost a penny.

Traffic crash kills infant, injures 7 others
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There are not only agencies that want to help but it also the law in Tennessee that your child must be in some kind of car safety seat to help avoid the tragedy that took a young life.'

"It's just sad, it's tragic and it's something that was avoidable in this particular case," said Police Director Toney Armstrong. "We just had some carelessness."

It's the law in Shelby County and most of the nation for children under the age of 4 to be in a secured car seat. When the child turns 4 they graduate to a booster seat until they are 8.

Many parents say safety outweighs any inconvenience.

"If there is an accident, it's life or death," said Molly Lane, parent. "I think it's important. It's up to the parents be sure to do that for their children. That's part of protecting them."

If you don't protect children inside a vehicle, be prepared to get a ticket if stopped by police.

In 2012 the Shelby County Sheriff's Office issued citations to 448 drivers for child passenger safety violations. Through the end of June 2013, the number stands at 248.

"Certainly if our officers see someone operating a motor vehicle with a child that we feel like is putting that child in danger," Director Armstrong said. "That's something we'll address. So it's something that we're already doing."

Agencies like the Safe Kids Coalition are here to help. For $10 it will provide with a car safety seat and help you install it.

"I don't think families realize car crashes are the leading killer and injury for children," said Susan Helms of Safe Kids Coalition. "A simple thing such as properly using a car safety seat can save a life."

The Safe Kids Coalition said anyone can pick up a car seat at the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department. You can contact the coalitions at 901-287-6730.

Also if you see a child unrestrained in a car you can report the driver through the Buckle Up hotline at 1-800-215-SEAT.

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