||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
UW-Eau Claire Safety Campaign|
Focuses on Child Passengers
MAILED: August 25, 1998|
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Office of Public Safety is among the Wisconsin law enforcement agencies participating in an August safety campaign.
As many as 175,000 infants across the country are improperly restrained while riding in vehicles, putting them at serious risk of injury or death, according to a recent study by the Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign. To help curb this deadly practice, UW-Eau Claire has joined with 79 other law enforcement agencies in a statewide Safe and Sober Campaign focusing law enforcement efforts on child passenger safety.
"Infants should never ride in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger air bag," said David Backstrom, director of Public Safety. "Air bags are currently designed to protect only adults and deploy with a force that can be extremely dangerous and sometimes deadly for children."
Some 11 percent of parents who own vehicles with passenger side air bags continue to place their babies directly in front of the air bag, said John Evans, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Safety.
"It is imperative we take extra precaution to make sure child passengers are not only properly buckled up but seated away from air bags and out of harm's way," Evans said.
Campaign Safe and Sober is a federally funded traffic safety program that involves law enforcement agencies across the state. Evans said his agency provides the program funding, which local agencies may use at their own discretion as long as the program's focus is identified traffic safety problems.
For additional information, call Backstrom at (715) 836-2222.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: August 25, 1998