GLEN BURNIE, MD (June 14, 2021) – Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Greg Slater and MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Administrator Chrissy Nizer joined together this month to announce the donation of 50 child safety seats from MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office to the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) and several other law enforcement agencies across the state. The donation is part of the continued effort to ensure all jurisdictions have valid child safety seats available to officers if they find themselves needing to transport children.
“We all must work together to protect our youngest and most vulnerable passengers,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “Our children deserve to be in the right seat. A properly installed child safety seat is the first line of defense in the event of a crash – and may save your child.”
The child safety seat donations were made possible through a partnership between MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office, Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Systems Services (MIEMSS) and the Maryland Department of Health’s Kids in Safety Seats (KISS) initiative. At a June 1 event at the BPD Headquarters, Secretary Slater and Administrator Nizer were joined by MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office Director Dr. Tim Kerns, BPD Sgt. Kenneth Deluca, BPD Lt. Col Monique Brown, BPD Major Milton Corbett and BPD Sgt. Paul McMillian for a donation of nine seats to BPD.
“The child safety seats received by our agency are an important tool in ensuring the safe transportation of children in Baltimore City. The Baltimore Police Department is proud to partner with MDOT and MVA in promoting safe child transportation in Baltimore as well as across our state,” said BPD Commissioner Michael Harrison.
As part of the program, Administrator Nizer also presented new Graco 3-in-1 child safety seats to the Anne Arundel County Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, Bowie Police Department, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Elkton Police Department, Gaithersburg Police Department, Havre De Grace Police Department, Howard County Police Department, Hyattsville Police Department, Laurel Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Prince George’s County Police Department and University of Maryland College Park Police Department. Photos of those presentations can be found here.
In December, the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office supplied all Maryland State Police barracks and Maryland Transportation Authority detachments with child safety seats. The project has now provided nearly 150 child safety seats to 44 agencies, with more planned in the future. An easy-to-use pictorial guide was developed by the Highway Safety Office and secured to each car seat to assist law enforcement with proper installation. Officers are also encouraged to watch a short, pre-recorded presentation with additional tips for properly securing the seat.
Every Child Deserves the Right Seat
While this project is giving law enforcement supplies and training needed to provide children a safe transport, it also reinforces the message that all Marylanders should check their child safety seats often to ensure children are in the correct – and properly installed – car seat for their weight and height. Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Law requires children under age 8 be secured in an approved car safety seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches.
“Similar to seat belts, child safety seats save hundreds of lives every year, but proper use is imperative,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “The key to keeping children safe is to make sure that the seat is correctly installed in your vehicle and to recheck it often. Child safety seats can often shift over time and may need to be adjusted.”
KISS Maryland offers FREE virtual car seat installation checks that can help parents and guardians ensure their child safety seat is correctly installed. Although it is encouraged to register for a full car seat check, a great place to start is with the following check list:
- Anchor the car seat with Seat Belt or LATCH. No more than 1 inch of movement.
- Tighten harness straps and buckle. Chest clip should be level with arm pit.
- Choose the right seat. Based on your child’s height and weight.
- Remove bulky clothing and jackets. Place blankets overtop.
Parents are encouraged to read the vehicle and car seat instruction manuals while installing car seats.
Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.