BEND, Ore. - Central Oregon law enforcement agencies are joining counterparts around Oregon in a 13-day traffic enforcement blitz emphasizing child seats and fitting station referrals, texting and speeding from Aug. 26th-Sept. 7th.
Local agencies involved include the Bend Police Department, Crook County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police, Prineville Police Department and Redmond Police Department. The enforcement is funded by overtime funds through the Oregon Department of Transportation.
According to a 2013 Oregon observed use survey, 97 percent of children aged 12 and under are riding in some type of restraint.
However, data collected through child seat fitting stations indicate the majority of child restraints are used incorrectly - up to 73 percent, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
Drivers are confused by frequently changing Oregon laws, national "best practice" recommendations, and constantly evolving child seat technology, said Bend police Lt. Nick Parker.
In addition, calendar year 2011 Oregon crash reports indicated that restraint use in crashes was only 38 percent among injured 4 - 7-year-olds and only 33 percent among fatally injured 4 - 7-year-olds.
Parker said participating agencies are committing to regular and overtime focus on safety belt compliance, texting, speeding and other moving violations.
The enforcement blitz will also help promote National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 15-21, through referrals to local child seat resources and seat checkup locations statewide.
Please visit http://oregonimpact.org/car-seat-resources/ for these Car Seat Check-In events and resources. For additional information, please contact Lieutenant Nick Parker at the Bend Police Department at (541) 322-2978.