Child Passenger Safety Tips
As of September 1, 2001, automobile manufacturers are required to equip all new vehicle trunks with a 'glow in the dark' trunk release inside the trunk compartment. Show your kids how to use the release in case of an emergency. If your car is older and does not have the 'glow in the dark' trunk release, ask your automobile dealership about getting your vehicle retrofitted with a trunk release mechanism.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Montvale Police Department and speak to Sgt. Alisha Foley. We would be happy to aid you in the proper installation of your child safety seat. If you would kindly install your seat prior to meeting with your technician, we think you will be pleasantly surprised just how simple this valuable task can be.
Children under age 8 must be properly buckled into a car seat or booster in the back seat. Children under 2 years old must be rear-facing (facing backwards) unless they weigh 40 pounds or more, or are 40 inches tall or more. Children age 8 or older or 4’9” in height may use the vehicle seat belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. If children are not tall enough for proper belt fit, they must ride in a booster or car seat. Everyone in the car must be properly buckled up. For each child under 16 who is not properly secured, parents (if in the car) or drivers can be fined more than $475 and get a point on their driving records. It’s against California law to leave a child who is 6 years of age or younger alone in the car with out the supervision of a person at least 12 years old.
The majority of seat belts have a locking mechanism that is activated when the seat belt is pulled all the way out from the retractor. This feature is designed for car seat installation. In instances when the locking feature activates, the child may not be able to free him or herself.
Booster seat: After outgrowing forward-facing seat and until seat belts fit properly. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should be buckled in a belt positioning booster seat until seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Proper seat belt fit usually occurs when children are about 4 feet 9 inches tall and age 9-12 years.
Forward-facing car seat: After outgrowing rear-facing seat until at least age 5. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.
Children are naturally curious and love to explore their surroundings. If you leave your kids unattended, in or near a vehicle, it may not be long before they are playing in it. Hide and seek can turn deadly if they get trapped in the trunk, where temperatures can rise very quickly—resulting in heatstroke or asphyxiation.