PITTSTON TWP. — Installing a child’s car seat can be difficult. Luckily, there are people willing to help.
Thanks to the Pennsylvania Traffic Injury Prevention Project (TIPP), Northeast Coordinator of the organization Cathy Connors, along with State Police Trooper Tom Kelly visit the Ken Pollock Volvo dealership on Highway 315 once a month to assist Volvo drivers with installing their children’s car seats.
According to its website, TIPP is a statewide project focused on traffic safety issues for children from birth to the age of 21. Topics include safety information on bicycles, school buses, pedestrians, seat belts and car seats, transportation of children with special health care needs and underage drinking.
“We recommend all motorists and parents read the manual for the vehicle and car seat and, when they come to an inspection, we make sure that it’s either in correctly, or advise them on how to do it correctly,” said Kelly. “We’re not installers; we don’t want to install the seats for the people. We want them to come here and learn how to do it themselves.”
Connors said she and Kelly are at the dealership from 10 a.m. to noon the last Thursday of every month and are available by appointment. Walk-ins are also accepted.
“That’s our whole goal is to show people how to read directions, where to look and practice installing the seat,” she said.
Connors is an instructor with National SAFE KIDS Campaign, a childhood injury prevention program that works to prevent unintentional injuries to children ages 14 and under, according to its website.
Although she has only been overseeing child car seat checks at the dealership since the beginning of the year, Kelly said the state police have been doing it for years.
“We did it off and on for maybe 10 to 15 years,” said Kelly. “It’s just a matter of departments recommending their officers to go for the training; it’s free training, one of the best community services a police department can offer and I don’t know why more departments don’t offer this for their communities.”
Pennsylvania State Police Troop P of Wyoming offers the program by appointment.
Kelly said he learned how to install child seats back in the early 2000s and was happy he took the program because it means he’s still helping to save lives.
“It’s part of my job function to help the community out,” he said. “What better way than to make sure children are safe in cars? We often talk among each other as troopers, guys will go out and write 100 tickets a day, but if you do one car seat and that saves one kid’s life, that greatly outweighs all of those tickets.”
AJ Detrick, manager at Ken Pollock Volvo, has been a big supporter of the car seat inspection and believes it is another great way to keep drivers safe.
“Because of the whole safety aspect of Volvo, we want to do everything we can to keep people in the car safe,” said Detrick. “We look for Cathy to give us guidance because they are experts on their end, and it’s a great collaboration.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher