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Sue Bush
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Adams Police Awarded Grant

12:00AM / Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Adams - The town police department has been awarded a $3,195 Governor's Highway Safety Bureau grant that targets child passenger safety efforts. The grant award is part of a total $480,000 distributed throughout 82 organizations state-wide.

Town police department Administrative Assistant Cheryl Dabrowski assisted the town with its' grant application, said town police Chief Donald Poirot.

"With this Governor's Highway Safety Bureau grant, we can better serve parents and caregivers who want to protect their children from death or injury by properly securing them in a safety belt, booster seat, or child safety seat," Poirot said. "We can also keep reminding adults that they must set a good example for kids by obeying the [state] safety belt law and always buckling up themselves."

Robert C. Haas, state secretary of public safety, spoke about the importance of properly installed child safety seats in a prepared statement.

"We need to get the word out that properly installed child safety seats reduce the risk of death in a [vehicle] crash by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers," he said. "parents and caregivers need to know that children 40 to 80 pounds and under 4' 9'' are safest in a booster seat/belt combination."

According to information provided by the police department, nationwide, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children aged 3 to 14 years old. In 2004, 13 children aged 12 and under were killed during state vehicle crashes and 128 children of the same age group sustained "incapacitating injuries" as a result of vehicle accidents.

The state child passenger safety law mandates all children age 5 and under and weighing 40 pounds or less be transported in a federally-approved child safety seat. Children under 5 years old and weighing over 40 pounds most often are safety in a child booster seat that permits the use of a properly adjusted adult lap belt and shoulder belt. Children that weigh 80 pounds or more, and have reached 4'9' should use seat belts; children age 12 and under are safest when seated and properly restrained in vehicle back seats away from airbags.

In most cases, drivers may be stopped by law enforcement officers if an unrestrained child is observed riding in a vehicle. Drivers may be fined up to $25 for each unrestrained child passenger.

Additional information about child passenger safety, including a list of certified child passenger safety technicians, is available at a www.mass.gov.ghsb Internet web site.
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