19 Sep 2017
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THE CNMI, with an approximate population of 56,000, averages approximately over 2,000 automobiles crashes annually, according to Department of Public Safety Lt. Juan Mendiola as he read the proclamation designating Sept. 17-23 as Child Passenger Safety Week.
Mendiola said the number does not include vehicle occupants.
Based on the CNMI’s child restraint use survey results, the usage rate in 2015 was 64.52 percent; in 2016, 57.17 percent; and in 2017, so far, 65.76 percent.
The survey results signify that nearly half the number of children are transported unsafe in a motor vehicle, according to the proclamation signed by Gov. Ralph Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog on Monday morning at the multi-purpose center in Susupe.
The proclamation also designated Sept. 23 as National Seat Check Saturday.
Torres and Hocog urged the community to help reduce injuries and the tragic loss of life by buckling up their children and themselves correctly — every trip, every time.
“It is important to make sure that you put a seatbelt on every child,” the governor said. “It is not easy, but I guarantee that it is harder to cope with an accident and they are not wearing seatbelts,” added Torres who spoke as a parent of six children.
Police Lt. Anthony Macaranas said a car seat may be expensive, “but you can’t put a price tag on your children’s lives — the car seat’s purpose is to protect every child for every trip you travel on public highway.”
He added, “We don’t do checkpoints to go after motorists; we do it to make sure that motorists are in compliance with safety laws.”
Conrad Castro, alternate transportation and child restraint manager for highway safety, invited community members to have their car seats inspected on National Seat Check Saturday. “We will let them know whether their car seats are still safe for use,” he added.
Castro said this year, they collaborated with the Maternal Child Health Bureau of the Division of Public Health Services under the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation.
Parents can avail themselves of the car seat voucher program that reduces by 75 the cost of a car seat but not more than $200, he added.
National Seat Check Saturday will be held at the Civic Center basketball court on Sept 23.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/98641-sept-17-23-is-child-passenger-safety-week