GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Local District Attorneys offices are toughening the process by which drivers who receive child passenger safety citations can get them removed from their driving records.
The Greensboro Police Department launched, on Friday, the Child Passenger Safety Diversion Project Now, drivers who receive child passenger safety citations--including lack of approved car seats and seatbelt violations--will receive a notice that they must visit a safety seat checking station before being able to appeal the citation.
Under North Carolina's current seatbelt law, a driver can have a child passenger safety citation removed from his or her record if he or she presents proof to a judge that the child safety violation has been addressed. Greensboro police officer Lauren Lewis explains this process is too easy, and drivers do not learn from having received the child passenger safety citation.
So, with this new initiative, the process of providing that proof will now entail a safety seat check or seatbelt education course conducted by local law enforcement.
In order to appeal a child safety passenger citation to a judge, a Greensboro driver who receives the citation must make an appointment with an officer at one of two "safety seat checking stations." Those two stations are at the Greensboro Police Department headquarters on West Washington and its substation on South Swing Street.
At those appointments, the cited driver must present an approved safety seat--or car seat. Officer Lewis explained the officer then checks the proper installation of the safety seat. She said national statistics suggest the majority of drivers with child passengers ages eight and younger (or 80 pounds and under) fail to properly install their car seats.
The Child Passenger Safety Initiative is two-part and also entails an effort to crack down on easy citation removal for drivers in violation of the North Carolina seat belt law. Drivers who receive citations for unbuckled passengers ages 15 and younger must also make an appointment with an officer, if they wish to get their citations removed. Lewis explained the officer will provide one-on-one instruction of how properly to wear a seatbelt and what the consequences are for driving unbuckled child passengers.
The Child Passenger Safety Diversion Project is operated in conjunction with the governor's Highway Safety Program and Safe Kids North Carolina. Alamance County law enforcement launched the project in June, and other counties are considering implementing it, as well.
To schedule a child passenger safety seat inspection contact the Greensboro Police Department.
WFMY News 2