Section Progress:

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:

  1. Handing out stickers to children who are properly using car seats.
  2. Giving the driver a card with a CPST’s contact info.
  3. Explaining websites to visit for more information on child car seat safety.
  4. Sharing information about community classes that provide car seats.

 

To learn about scheduling a training for police officers, go to the next section.