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NADA, NHTSA to campaign for more safety seat use by children

November 24, 2010

The National Automobile Dealers Association and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will develop a national child booster seat safety education and public awareness campaign, to begin later this year or early 2003. The formal agreement was signed June 12 by NADA Chairman H. Carter Myers III and NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey W. Runge.

"The NADA and franchised new-car dealers nationwide are very pleased to join with NHTSA in this important initiative to advance child passenger safety," said Myers. "Proper booster seat use can save lives, and we are committed to doing our part to ensure parents and kids hear that message." Runge said, "We have identified improved booster seat use as one of our highest priorities for the coming years, and we are delighted to have the NADA aboard as one of our key partners in the effort to create awareness among parents."

The campaign will attempt to build awareness about the importance of booster seat use for children up to age 9 or 80 pounds. Research by the NHTSA and other transportation safety agencies shows the vast majority of parents do not consider securing such children in booster seats. Boosters are necessary to elevate these children to a height that keeps the shoulder belt where it is designed for safe travel-over the shoulder, rather than wrapped dangerously around the neck.

Boosters also maintain the lap belt low across the hips rather than on the abdominal area, which is more prone to internal and spine injuries in an accident. The NHTSA reports that numerous children are injured and killed in accidents unnecessarily because they are not properly restrained in booster seats.