Child Passenger Safety

Fire Child in Car seat

Since January 2012, California law now says that children under age 8 must be properly buckled into a car seat or booster in the back seat. Children age 8 or older, or who are 4’9” or taller, may use the vehicle seat belt IF it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. If children are not tall enough for proper belt fit, they must ride in a booster or car seat. Remember, everyone in the car must be properly buckled up. For each child under 16 who is not properly secured, parents (if in the car) or drivers can be fined more than $475 and get a point on their driving records.

Keeping kids safe when they are around vehicles is also very important. Teach your children not to play in the car; a child can inadvertently put the car in drive or reverse and injure themselves and or others around the car. Let your child know that playing around a car is not safe either. Although they can see the car; the driver might not be able to see them. Backovers can happen in ANY vehicle because all vehicles have a blind zone. This is the area behind a vehicle you cannot see from the driver’s seat. The danger tends to increase with larger vehicles. It’s always best to look carefully behind the vehicle before you get in and again before you put the car in gear to back up. Remember to back up slowly, and pay attention to your mirrors. Know where your kids are. Make sure children move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in FULL view before moving the car and know that another adult is watching the children before moving your vehicle.

For more safety tips, visit our website at If you are unsure about whether or not your older child needs a booster; or if you want to make sure your baby’s seat is secured correctly, call 768-3209 for an appointment.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 5:45 pm and is filed under City of Watsonville, Fire Department . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.