The North Reading Police Department was recently awarded a Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Equipment Grant to provide car and booster seats for distribution to North Reading families in need. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Office of Grants and Research- Highway Safety Division awarded grants totaling nearly $170,000 to 65 local police and fire departments, regional non-profit agencies, and hospitals. The North Reading Police Department is one of over 225 car seat inspection sites in Massachusetts, with a certified technician available to ensure children’s seats are installed correctly.
School Resource Officer Detective Paul Lucci is certified by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to install a variety of car seats. He explained, “The new car seats can be confusing for a lot of people. Many times, we get people coming in who are just frustrated with the instructions. Sometimes we even get entire families coming, including grandparents, to learn how to move a seat from one car to another.” Lucci added, “One thing I also check is the seat’s expiration date. Many people don’t know that car seats expire.” Nationwide, traffic crashes are a leading cause of death for children of all ages. Properly installed car and booster seats have been proven to reduce the risk of death and injury in crashes, yet the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly.
Through the CPS Grant, the Police Department is able to offer free infant, booster, and convertible car seats to those who qualify. “We have a limited stock, but we want to make sure that everyone has access to a safe child seat,” said Detective Lucci. “This grant helps us better serve families who find it difficult to afford car and booster seats to protect their children. We can also assist parents and caregivers with the proper installation of their child’s seats.” To learn more, please call School Resource Officer Detective Paul Lucci at (978)357-5119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For a full listing of car seat inspection sites statewide, please visit www.mass.gov/carseats.