The annual Washington State Traffic Safety Commission's seatbelt emphasis program is going on now through May 31, with a focus this time on children who are not properly restrained in car seats or with seat belts in vehicles.
The Centralia, Chehalis, Morton, Toledo and Winlock police departments, as well as the Lewis County Sheriff's Office and the Washington State Patrol, will participate in extra patrols during the next few days to ensure motorists and their passengers are traveling safely.
"Washington State law requires child passengers to be properly restrained until the motor vehicle safety belt fits properly," said Cesi Velez, project manager for Washington Child Passenger Safety in a statement. "It also requires children under the age of 13 to ride in the back seat."
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional deaths among children in the United States, according to the Traffic Safety Commission. Between 2010 and 2012 in Washington, 26 child passengers age 12 and younger died, and 122 were seriously injured, as a result of traffic crashes.
For more information on the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, go to www.wtsc.wa.gov.