In celebration of National Child Passenger Safety Week, The V.I. Office of Highway Safety is giving away free car seats and booster seats Friday. The life-saving piece of child-rearing equipment will be distributed on St. Croix at a clinic presented by the office.
There will be 150 seats available from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Highway Safety Office at No.1 Estate Diamond (across from Oasis Shopping Plaza) in Frederiksted.
“Statistics show and have proven that car safety seats save lives,” said VIOHS project manager Leslie Dickenson, who added that car crashes are the leading cause of death for those ages 3 to 14.
“It is important that people know it is the law for all children to be restrained in the back seat,” Dickenson said.
To get a complimentary seat, parents or guardians are required to watch a 10-minute presentation on transportation safety and the importance of children being restrained. Parents and guardians must bring the child to be fitted for the seat. Recipients must also bring the child’s birth certificate, show proof of auto insurance, car registration, and have a valid driver’s license.
Dickenson said the office has given away more than 500 seats since she started there in 2008. She said her office will give out seats until 100 percent of the children in the territory are safely restrained.
The seats are funded by a federal grant from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Call 772-3025 for more information.