Even though law enforcement officers have gone through basic training, they can still benefit from more training, especially on child passenger restraint issues.
How does a training benefit law enforcement officers and the community?
- The most important reason this training is important is this: Injuries and fatalities from lack of child restraint use and seat belt use are a lot higher for Native Americans. And many injuries and fatalities from car accidents are preventable.
- Additionally, officers will gain a better understanding of tribal and state child restraint and seat belt laws. This makes officers much more comfortable talking to caregivers about child restraint, especially during traffic stops where a child is not properly buckled in.
- Officer will be able to identify the correct use, or misuse, of a child safety seat. Law enforcement officers only have a short time to evaluate whether a child is properly restrained. It may be seconds as a vehicle passes by. Or 3-5 minutes during a routine traffic stop. Or worst case scenario, at a vehicle crash site where there may be injuries or fatalities. The training focuses on the misuse, or rather gross misuse, and spotting the violations.
- When an officer pulls someone over, they’ll know whether to give a ticket or a verbal or written warning.
- Officers will receive a Certificate of Participation after course completion, which goes in their personnel file.
- Officers will also receive a child safety seat patch, which they can attach to their uniforms.
- Officers can voluntarily sign a law enforcement pledge to enforce child restraint laws.
Officers can make the most of traffic stops by:
- Handing out stickers to children who are properly using car seats.
- Giving the driver a card with a CPST’s contact info.
- Explaining websites to visit for more information on child car seat safety.
- Sharing information about community classes that provide car seats.