GLEN BURNIE, MD (September 15, 2022) – Ensuring a child’s safety in a vehicle is one of the most important things a parent or caregiver can do. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes continue to be one of the leading causes of death for children.
To help combat these preventable tragedies, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is joining with other state agencies, the Maryland Department of Health’s Kids In Safety Seats (Maryland KISS), the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems and the Safe Kids organization to provide child safety seat checks across the state during Child Passenger Safety Week, September 19-24.
“Height, weight and age are the three key components to determine if your child is ready to move to the next step in car seats,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “To ensure our youngest and most vulnerable passengers are safe, we encourage everyone to take time to check that children are in the correct car seat — and are always properly buckled.”
In Maryland, every driver and passenger must wear a seat belt. Children younger than age 8 must be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster unless they are 4 feet, 9 inches tall, or taller. Existing Maryland law also notes that if passengers younger than 16 are not wearing a seat belt, the driver may receive an $83 ticket for each offense.
MDOT MVA is supporting the following in-person and virtual events during Child Passenger Safety Week to help ensure child safety seats are properly installed (see links to make an appointment, where required):
Monday, September 19
MDOT MVA Bel Air Branch – Appointments
501 W MacPhail Road, Bel Air, MD 21014
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tuesday, September 20
MDOT MVA Westminster Branch – Appointments
1106 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster, MD 21157
Noon – 2 p.m.
Long Green Volunteer Fire Co. – Appointments
4506 Long Green Road, Glen Arm, MD 21057
3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, September 21
MDOT MVA Salisbury Branch – Appointments
251 Tilghman Road, Salisbury, MD 21804
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Thursday, September 22
Fitzgerald Cadillac Annapolis – No Appointment Needed, Drive Ups Accepted
34 Hudson St., Annapolis, MD 21401
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
MDOT MVA Glen Burnie Branch – Information Only, No Official Seat Check
6601 Ritchie Highway NE, Glen Burnie, MD 21062
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Friday, September 23
MDOT MVA Frederick Branch – Appointments
1601 Bowmans Farm Road, Frederick, MD 21701
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 24
Bayside Toyota – Appointments
120 Auto Dr., Prince Frederick, MD
9 a.m. – Noon
National Seat Check Saturday – Appointments
Virtual: One-on-One with Certified Technician
In addition to these events, agencies across the state offer in-person and virtual checks throughout the year to teach parents and caregivers how to correctly use car seats. Visit ZeroDeathsMD.gov/CarSeat for information.
Officials encourage everyone who transports children – parents, grandparents, guardians and other family members – to ensure they use the right car seat for the age and weight of the child and that it is installed correctly.
A bill signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, SB176, takes effect October 1, 2022, and requires that a person transporting a child under age 2 in a motor vehicle must secure the child in a rear-facing child safety seat that complies with applicable federal regulations until the child reaches the manufacturer’s weight or height limit for the child safety seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends children should ride rear-facing for as long as possible, as it offers the best protection in a crash.
MDOT MVA has developed a series of instructional videos demonstrating the proper installation of rear-facing and forward-facing car seats and booster seats, as well as guidelines for transitioning from a booster seat to “seat belt only.” Watch the videos, and share them with friends and family members:
- Rear-facing – Demonstration of proper installation of a rear-facing car seat and how to determine when a child is ready for the next level car seat.
- Forward-facing – Demonstration of proper installation of forward-facing/all-in-one safety seats and how to determine when a child is ready for the next level car seat.
- Booster seats – Demonstration of proper use of booster seats and review of the difference between backless boosters and those with backs.
- Seat belts – Guidelines and tips for transitioning from a booster seat to “seat belt only,” and the importance of buckling up for all vehicle occupants.
Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office’s commitment to zero deaths on Maryland roadways at ZeroDeathsMD.gov and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at zerodeathsmd.