GLEN BURNIE, MD (September 18, 2023) – Keeping children safe in our vehicles is one of the most important things a parent or caregiver can do. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes continue to be among the leading causes of child deaths. To combat this preventable statistic, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office is joining other state agencies, the Maryland Department of Health’s Kids In Safety Seats program, 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, which started September 17 and continues to September 23.
“Children, our most vulnerable passengers, depend on each of us to ensure they are properly buckled in the correct car seat. A proper car seat can be the difference between life and death in the event of a crash,” said Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Wes Moore’s Highway Safety Representative. “Hosting these events at MVA branch offices provides the community with a convenient place to ensure the right seat is being used based on a child’s height, weight and age.”
The Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office supports these in-person and virtual events during Child Passenger Safety Week to ensure child safety seats are properly installed:
Monday, September 18
Motor Vehicle Administration Bel Air Branch 501 W. MacPhail Road, Bel Air, MD 21014 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. For appointments, please call 800-515-0044
Tuesday, September 19
Clear Spring Fire Department 30 Mulberry St., Clear Spring, MD 21722 3 – 6 p.m. For appointments, please click HERE
Fitzgerald of Hagerstown 171 S Edgewood Dr., Hagerstown, MD 21740 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. No appointment needed
Wednesday, September 20
MVA Westminster Branch 1106 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster, MD 21157 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. For appointments, please call 410-876-4448
Thursday, September 21
Fitzgerald Buick GMC Rockville 5501 Nicholson Lane, Rockville, MD 20852 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. No appointment needed
Friday, September 22
MVA Glen Burnie Branch – Appointments and Drive Up 6601 Ritchie Highway NE, Glen Burnie, MD 21062 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m
In Maryland, the law requires every driver and passenger to wear a seat belt. If passengers older than 16 are not wearing a seat belt, the driver can receive an $83 ticket for each offense. Children younger than 8 years of age must be in an appropriate booster or child safety seat unless they are 4 feet, 9 inches tall or taller.
Under a law that took effect in October 2022, a person transporting a child under age 2 in a motor vehicle is required to secure the child in a rear-facing child safety seat that complies with federal regulations until the child reaches the manufacturer's weight or height limit for the child safety seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration both recommend children ride rear facing for as long as possible, as it offers the best protection in the event of a crash.
Officials encourage everyone who transports children, including parents, grandparents, guardians and other family members to ensure they are using the right car seat for the age and weight of each child and that it is installed correctly. 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 more information.
Launched in 2021, the Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office has developed four instructional videos demonstrating the proper installation of rear-facing and forward-facing car seats, booster seats, and guidelines for transitioning from a booster seat to “seat belt only.” Watch the videos now and be sure to share 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 full 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 MVA’s Highway Safety Office’s commitment to zero deaths on Maryland roadways at ZeroDeathsMD.gov and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at zerodeathsmd.