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Coalition claims parents are careless with car seats

PHOENIX — There are some disturbing new statistics about kids not being buckled into child safety seats correctly when riding in the car.

Arizona law says that kids younger than 5 years old and weighing less than 40 pounds must be in a child safety seat in a vehicle. Children ages 5-8 and under 4 feet, 9 inches tall must be in a booster seat.

James Garnand of the Safe Kids Coalition said that according to his group’s latest survey, a lot of people are ignoring the law.

“Twenty-five percent of parents say that they’ve driven with their child unrestrained in the car before,” he said.

During an appearance on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s “Arizona’s Morning News Weekend,” Garnand said that people with higher incomes are more likely not to have their kids strapped in for the ride.

“Thirty-four percent of affluent parents, those that make over $100,000 a year, say it’s OK if you don’t restrain your child for short trips,” he said. “That compares to 15 percent of parents who make less than $35,000 a year.”

He added that he could not explain why the different incomes resulted in different attitudes regarding safety seats.

Garnand said that a high number of people are getting careless when it comes to the car seats.

“Up to 90 percent of the seats are installed incorrectly. They’re either facing the wrong direction, or not in tight enough.”

The Safe Kids survey also said that 23 percent of the parents responding who were under 30 years old think it’s OK if their kids are not in safety seats during overnight trips.

Garnand said it’s important that parents always fasten their kids into the car seat, and that it is properly installed.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says that 44 children 14 years old or younger were killed in Arizona traffic accidents in 2012. An additional 3,600 were injured that year.

For tips on how to install a car seat correctly, visit