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Hawai‘i Police Department to conduct combined DUI checkpoint/child safety seat inspection clinic : Big Island Now | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Baby in a car seat. (File image from PIXNIO)

As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure keiki safety on Big Island roadways, the Hawai‘i Police Department will conduct a combined DUI checkpoint/child safety seat inspection clinic from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 17 on Kalaniana‘ole Street in Hilo.

While conducting the DUI checkpoint, officers will also be looking to see that children are properly restrained in a child safety seat or restraint for their size and age. Parents whose keiki are not properly restrained will be directed to inspection stations, where certified technicians will assist them.

“We’re dealing with a one-two punch in which child traffic fatalities are increasing across the country, yet compliance with properly restraining kids in cars is low,” said Hawai‘i Police Department Traffic Services Section Program Manager Torey Keltner.

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Nationwide, the average number of children killed every day in traffic collisions has been on the rise in recent years.

In 2021, the most recent year for data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 1,184 children were killed in traffic crashes, an 8% increase compared with the 1,101 keiki killed in 2020 traffic crashes.

The number of children nationwide who died while riding unrestrained in vehicles also increased from 38% in 2020 to 40% in 2021.

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A 2022 University of Hawai‘i annual assessment showed that only 36% of toddlers were properly restrained in child safety seats in Hawai‘i.

“It’s alarming that so few keiki here in Hawai‘i are properly restrained in child safety seats,” said Keltner. “Hawai‘i Police Department is committed to ensuring that children in our community are the safest they can be while traveling our island roads.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that correctly used child safety seats can reduce keiki traffic fatalities by 71% for infants younger than a year old and 54% for children ages 1 to 4 years old.

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“Traffic crash injuries to children can have life-long consequences and are easily preventable by the use of properly installed child safety seats,” Keltner said.

If you have any questions about installing a child safety seat, contact the district police station nearest you. A list of police stations can be found on the Police Department website.

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