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Pa. to inspect child safety seats

February 15, 1999|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Motorists stopped this week by Pennsylvania State Police may find the trooper handing out a stuffed elephant instead of a ticket.

The troopers will be giving the toy pachyderms not to drivers, but to children correctly buckled up in vehicles, according to South Central Pennsylvania Highway Safety, a coalition serving Franklin, Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties.

The animals, wearing "Elephants Never Forget to Buckle Up" T-shirts, are a reward to buckled up families during National Child Passenger Safety Week.

Locally, motorists can find out if they have their child safety seats installed correctly by going to the state police barracks, 679 Franklin Farm Lane, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, for a free check by police.

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Parents can bring their vehicles by the barracks between 2 and 6 p.m., or can make an appointment by calling Trooper Edward Asbury at 717-264-5161.

According to state police, incorrectly installed safety seats greatly increase the risk of death or serious injury to children.

Parents with questions about their safety seats can call the Pennsylvania Division of the American Trauma Society at 1-800-822-2358.

According to South Central Pennsylvania Highway Safety, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children, with more than 2,000 under the age of 15 killed in 1997. Sixty percent of those killed were not in safety seats or wearing seatbelts.

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