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MIT, Cambridge Police to host first child safety seat checkpoint

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Sarah H. Wright
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The MIT Police Department will conduct a Child Passenger Safety Checkpoint to teach parents and caregivers how to properly install a child safety seat or booster in their motor vehicles. The checkpoint event will take place at MIT's Kresge parking lot on Amherst Street, from 10am - 2pm on Friday, May 5th.

The checkpoint program is sponsored by the MIT Credit Union in conjunction with the MIT and Cambridge Police Departments. The first of its kind in the Boston area, it is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

"The Child Passenger Safety Checkpoint program is another example of excellent teamwork between the Cambridge Police and MIT Police to assist the MIT and Cambridge community with a public safety tool. Sgt. Vossmer and I are very appreciative of the involvement of the MIT Credit Union in sponsoring this program and we look forward to assisting parents with proper safety seat installation instructions," said Anne P. Glavin, Chief of MIT Campus Police.

Motor vehicle crashes are nationwide the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for children ages 14 and under. Child safety seats, when correctly used, are 71% effective in reducing the risk of death for infants and 54% for toddlers in a crash.

"This checkpoint will let us help parents and caregivers protect their children from motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries," said Dave Szeto, Cambridge Police Officer. "It will also let us get the word out that children 13 and under should ride in the back seat, regardless of whether or not a car has front-seat air bags. We even get a chance to remind adults that they must set a good example for kids by obeying the law and buckling up."

Massachusetts law requires all children to ride in a federally-approved child safety seat until they are at least five years old AND they weigh over 40 lbs. Children who weigh over 40 lbs. but are under five must ride in booster seats. For children five years of age or older AND weighing 40 to 80 lbs., a booster seat is recommended. Children five years of age or older AND weighing over 80 lbs. must wear a safety belt that is properly adjusted. This is a primary enforcement law. A police officer may stop a car if one or more children are riding unrestrained. A driver will be fined $25.00 for each unrestrained child.

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