State Trooper Shawn Urquhart properly installs car seat
State Trooper Shawn Urquhart
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Troopers claim that tragic crash points out the importance of safety measures that save lives. They say driving drunk and not properly restraining children are two main causes of injuries and deaths in Georgia.
Troopers say a lot of South Georgians will be celebrating graduations in the coming weeks, and want to remind folks not to turn those celebrations into tragedies by getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Georgia State Patrol troopers say they are seeing the skyrocketing use of prescription drugs in their DUI stops. People who have just a small amount of alcohol can be impaired.
Georgia State Patrol Sergeant First Class Shawn Urquhart said "Because of the prescription drugs a lot of people take those and drink, and it intensifies the effects of the medication. Which may make them fall asleep at the wheel. They become dizzy."
Troopers say they are also seeing too many drivers still not following the state's new child restraint seat laws.
Urquhart said, "This is the highback, because it also protects the child's head."
Kids on Georgia roads have to be in a car seat or a booster seat, even to age 18, until they reach the height of 4 foot 9 inches tall.
Urquhart said, "This goes from 40 pounds to 100 pounds, that the parent can use to actually boost the child up in the seat. That way when they put the seat belt around the child it won't be in their face or across their neck. And it has to work in conjunction with a lap or shoulder belt."
Troopers say the state is strongly enforcing the child seat laws because they work and save lives.
"We've worked crashes where the driver and the passengers might have been injured, but because the child was properly restrained in the vehicle, there have been accidents where kids walked away with no injuries," said Urquhart
Troopers say the safest place for a child is in the back seat, in the middle of the car.
If you can't afford a booster or car seat, you can call your county health department and sign up for a one hour instruction class teaching you about the proper use of the seats, and you will be given a seat for free at the end of the class.
Also, if you have any questions about properly installing a car seat, you can go to your Georgia State Patrol Post or Sheriff's Office and get help.