Local police push child seat safety

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The City of Columbia Police Departments Traffic Unit along with the National Safety Council conducted a child safety seat check/installation Friday morning at Riverfront Park.

Citizens took the chance to have their child safety seats inspected/installed by certified child safety seat installers with the Columbia Police Departments Traffic Unit.

Officers say taking just a few minutes to lock your child in the seat the right way can save lives.

"In the event of a head on collision or being rear-ended or a side collision they can come out of the seat, they can go through the windshield, they can strike another passenger in the car...and injure them so its for the safety of everyone in the vehicle to make sure the children are in the seat properly," said Corporal Rose Lynn with the Traffic Unit.

Officers were also on hand to answer any questions regarding car seat installations or requirements.

South Carolinas child passenger restraint law requires that:

- Children from birth to 1 year old, or who weigh less than 20 pounds, must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.- Children 1 through 5 years old weighing 20 to 40 pounds must be restrained in a forward-facing child seat.- Children 1 through 5 years old weighing 40 to 80 pounds must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat.- Children under the age of 6 are not required to be in booster seats if they weigh more than 80 pounds or if they can sit with their backs against the car's seat and bend their legs over the seat edge without slouching.- Children under 6 may not sit in the front passenger seat. However, this restriction does not apply if the vehicle has no rear passenger seats or if all other rear passenger seats are occupied by children less than 6 years old.- Violators are subject to a $150 fine. This law does not apply to taxis, church, school and day care buses, or commercial vehicles.