Troup County Sheriff’s Office and Health Department perform seat safety checks

Published 10:00 am Saturday, September 28, 2019

By Jenna Oden

LAGRANGE — The Troup County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Department of Public Health performed free car seat safety checks in the LaGrange Hobby Lobby parking lot for a few hours Friday.

“We are evaluating car seats, checking to see if there are any recalls, asking them questions about their seat to see if it is safe to use, see how much they know about their seat and showing them a correct install,” said Dee Franklin, who was completing the checks to become a certified child passenger safety technician. “We are checking to see if we see anything wrong and even if we don’t, we just go over it all again.”

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Officers and health department employees demonstrated how to properly install the car seats and also how to properly place a child in the seat.

“This is the last part of our certification,” Franklin said. “We have three CPS technicians here, have done several skills demonstrations and quizzes to make sure we are safe enough to get to this point.”

This certification provides a way for officers to be qualified to check child safety seats in any roadside situation.

“We will check to see if it is installed correctly, in manufacture date and not expired,” TCSO Sgt. Rodney Williams said. “There is a fine for not having a proper safety seat.”

If a child is not in a proper safety seat, there is a $50 fine for the first offense and one point can be taken from a driver’s license.

“That fine is not the main point though,” Williams said. “We aren’t trying to give fines. We want to maintain the safety of all kids traveling in vehicles.”

There is no offense for having a seat checked onsite.

“We learned in our class that car accidents are the number one killer of children under the age of five,” Franklin said. “Anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of seats on the road are unsafe for use.”

During the car seat check, if a seat was expired or recalled, they were replaced for free.

Franklin said taking the course, she even found an error in her own car seat and was able to correct it.