NORTH READING — Chief Michael Murphy is pleased to share that the North Reading Police Department’s Community Impact Team will continue to offer free year-round car seat installations and inspections.
The North Reading Police Department is one of more than 225 car seat inspection sites in the state with certified technicians available to ensure children’s seats are installed correctly. School Resource Officer Detective Paul Lucci, Safety Officer Tim King and Officer Ryan Hagerty are certified by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to install and inspect a variety of car seats.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vehicle crashes are among the leading causes of death for children in the U.S. Properly securing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats greatly lowers the risk of serious and fatal injuries. The CDC reports that:
- Car seat use reduces the risk for injury in a crash by 71-82% for children, when compared with seat belt use alone.
- Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children ages 4-8, when compared with seat belt use alone.
- For older children and adults, seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by about half.
The American Automobile Association estimates that 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly.
“Installing car seats can be confusing and it is easy to get frustrated with the instructions. We are here to help residents and ease the installation process,” said Detective Lucci. “We invite residents who need help to make an appointment with us, even if they just want to learn how to safely move a seat from one car to another. We will check all aspects of the seat to ensure safety, including its expiration date, which many people do not know exists.”
Additionally, the department is giving away free infant, booster and convertible car seats to residents in need while supplies last. Funding for this initiative is provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research-Highway Safety Division’s Child Passenger Safety Equipment Grant.
“We are so grateful for this funding because it allows us to serve families who may have difficulty affording car and booster seats that protect their children,” said Detective Lucci. “Although we have a limited stock, we want to ensure that those in need have access to these seats, and we are more than happy to help parents and caregivers with properly installing them.”
Residents are reminded that every state has child safety seat laws.