A dual-latchplate belt system, discussed in the editorial on page 2 of the 2019 March/April SRN, is the only modern seat belt in which assembly before use may be required. In the spectrum of passive-to-active protection, therefore, this type can be considered “extra-active.”
Babies as young as 6 weeks old ride on school buses to attend Early Head Start and teen parent programs. Children this young must ride rear facing, and are safest riding this way as long as they fit the size limits of their RF child safety restraint systems (CSRS).
Like all Americans, readers are well aware that the U.S. government was shut down from December 22, 2018, until January 25, 2019, prompting the suspension of activities for all agencies deemed nonessential and furloughing roughly 800,000 federal employees. The CPS work of some readers may have been directly or indirectly impacted by this situation. From a macro level, here is what SRN has learned about some key aspects of CPS with respect to this shutdown and shutdowns in general.
KidsAndCars.org Seeks Data From the Public on Pets Injured or Killed by Cars
For over 20 years, KidsAndCars.org (KAC) has been dedicated to the prevention of noncrash, vehicle-related hazards to children, such as heatstroke, backovers, and trunk entrapment. Since data is key to spurring safety improvements, KAC has long collected data on various not-in-traffic incidents. For many incidents that occur off of roadways, KAC was the first to begin collecting incident data, and it was instrumental in securing the 2005 legislation that required NHTSA to begin surveillance of these types of events. Read More from “Needed: Data on Pets Injured or Killed by Cars”
In the past couple of years, the introduction of such LA adjusters as Evenflo’s EasyClick and Graco’s EZ Tight is an encouraging sign that NHTSA’s requirements for LA attachment weight limits have not squelched CR manufacturers’ interest in innovating to improve LATCH ease of use. Now that five years have passed since the regulation went into effect, it is a fitting time to reflect on how the regulation has affected CR types, in general.
All CPSTs have been trained in how to use a belt-shortening clip (BSC), the heavy-duty device that holds webbing so that a CR can be installed using a lap belt with an ELR retractor. However, few CPSTs have used one outside of certification training because, of course, vehicles with belts that require this device are now old—and, even back in the 1980s and ‘90s, such belt systems were not particularly common.
Still, it is good for CPSTs to know how to identify situations that require a belt-shortening clip and how to help a parent use one, if needed. The situation might be rare, but if a CPST encounters a child who is riding in a vehicle so old as to need a BSC, then the vehicle is also lacking other modern safety features. In such a vehicle, tight installation is even more critical.
Documentation is a must when checking CRs, but paper checkup forms use resources, take up storage space, and don’t lend themselves well to data aggregation and analysis. Since many CPSTs now have access to a smartphone, laptop, and/or tablet, the time may be right to consider a digital alternative.
Safe Ride News Publications is pleased to bring you this brand new website, as of August 2018. The address remains the same—www.saferidenews.com—but the look, layout, and some functionality have been revised. We hope that the CPS community will like our refreshed look and find it easier to access information.
On September 24, 2018, a historical marker was erected during a ceremony in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of that state’s child occupant protection (COP) law, the first such law in the world. The marker honors the late Dr. Robert Sanders, a pediatrician well known as Dr. Seat Belt, for his role as a driving force prompting the wave of COP laws that spread across the country. The ceremony was attended by his widow, Patricia Sanders, who is also named on the marker for her involvement in successfully advocating for the Tennessee law.
That very first law required CR use until a child’s third birthday, and it took the Sanders four more years to eliminate a “babes in arms” exception that had been slipped in before passage. The Sanders’ tireless efforts to protect children continue to serve as an inspiration for efforts to strengthen COP laws.