DMV encourages parents and caregivers to ensure children are safely secured or belted in vehicles at all times
As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) urges parents and caregivers to ensure their child is properly secured in their vehicle – every trip, every time.
Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Child Passenger Safety Week takes place this year from September 18-24 with National Seat Check Saturday to be held on Saturday, September 24.
Children must be properly secured in a vehicle by either a car seat, safety harness, or seat belt. Depending on the child’s age, height, and weight, the proper safety harness will vary and should be up to date with current regulations and suggestions. In Virginia, all children under age 8 must be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat, regardless of weight or height. Children must ride in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 unless they meet the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing car seat.
In 2021, three children under age 8 who were unrestrained were killed and 68 were injured in crashes in Virginia.
“Keeping people safe is our top priority as Virginia’s Highway Safety Office,” said Acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Knowing how to properly install a child safety seat is the first step to protect your child in the event of a crash. Free resources are available to make sure your child’s seat is installed correctly. We encourage parents and caregivers to use Child Passenger Safety Week as an opportunity to check the safety seat in your vehicle for your child’s safety and spread the importance of safety seat protocols.”
National Seat Check Saturday is observed annually on the fourth Saturday in September. Parents and caregivers who would like to have their child’s safety seat checked by a professional can find a check event near them through the Virginia Department of Health.