According to a V.I. Police report, students were recently seen leaving elementary school campuses illegally and unsafely. Children between the age bracket of 4-7 in the territory are required to ride in the back seat, using booster seats with seat belts.
The V.I. Office of Highway Safety’s Booster Seat Drive aims to provide new booster seats to approximately 73 percent of students, ages 4 to 7. Local pediatrician Dr. Anthony Ricketts of the Pediatric Care Center donated 20 booster seats to the initiative. With the primary goal of promoting child health and wellness, participating in the drive was a natural fit for the pediatric group. The center encourages caregivers to take an active role in securing their child passengers, according to a press release announcing the initiative.
“Law enforcement plays a critical role in seat belt compliance however, at the end of the day, it is our responsibility, as parents, to make sure that our children remain safe,” said Assistant Practice Coordinator She’Nel Tyrell-Rawlins. Rawlins explained that ordering the seats was a simple and inexpensive three-day process, and passionately encourages other business owners to support the cause.
“We are so grateful for the generous support received so far. However, we have a long way to go to address this dire community need,” VIOHS Director Daphne O’Neal said.
According to the press release, the VIOHS will continue to accept donated seats through the new year and encourages the community to continue to rally around this life-preserving cause.
For more information about the booster seat drive, contact the V.I. Office of Highway Safety through O’Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org or Occupant Protection Planner/Coordinator Denise Gomes at email@example.com. Call the office at 340-772-3025 or 340-473-7383.