Montana Department of Transportation

MDT News



June 20, 2014

Pam Buckman, Occupant Protection Program Manager, Montana Department
of Transportation, 406-444-0809, 
Mary Owens, Coordinator, Buckle Up Montana Coalition, Boys & Girls
Club of the Hi-Line, Havre, MT, 406-265-6206 x 301

Free child car seat check Thursday June 26

Havre  - Child passenger safety technicians will inspect your child’s
car seat for correct model, size and installation at a car seat
clinic on June 26. Inspections will be offered from 11:00 a.m. to
2:00 p.m. at the Havre Fire Department, 520 4th Street in Havre. The
event is free and open to the public.  
Trained technicians will be available to answer questions about
choosing the right car seat and when children should graduate to a
new car seat or to the vehicle’s adult lap and shoulder belt.
Technicians will also demonstrate proper installation of their car
seats to those who attend the event. Parents and caregivers are asked
to bring the car seat, the vehicle it is used in and, if possible,
the child who uses the seat to the check-up event.
Technicians in Montana report that about 80 percent of the car seats
they check are not installed properly, according to Mary Owens,
coordinator for the Buckle Up Montana coalition. 
“That’s 4 out of 5 car seats not as secure as they should be—which
means the services our technicians offer is vital to the safety of
Montana’s children,” Owens said. 
The car seat clinic will be the culmination of a four-day national
standardized child passenger safety certification course. In addition
to classroom coursework and the hands-on car seat inspection, the
training includes the latest updates on car seat recalls, car seat
models and manufacturers, and national safety guidelines. 
“This course is a chance for new technicians to learn their skills
and receive the latest information on new regulations and products,”
said Mary Owens. “Our technicians are proud of the work they do to
protect children. Properly used, car seats are very effective at
preventing injuries to children if they are in a car crash,” Owens
Owens urges parents to follow the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) recommendation to keep children in their car
seat for as long as possible before moving them to the next level.
Children should remain in rear-facing seats as long as possible or at
least until two years of age. Montana’s law requires children up to
age 6, and weighing less than 60 pounds, to be properly buckled in a
car seat. After the child reaches those guidelines, they should ride
in a booster seat until they are 4’9” tall—when the vehicle’s seat
belt fits them properly. For maximum safety, a parent should have
their car seat installation inspected by a certified Child Passenger
Safety Technician.
For more information about child passenger safety, go online to or call 1-877-330-BUCKL for personal assistance.
Permanent car seat inspection stations are located in most major
communities, often at firehouses, health departments or law
enforcement agencies. To find an inspection station, go to:

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