Georgia Troopers Launch Operation Precious Cargo

February 9, 2007

NEWS RELEASE

(ATLANTA) – The Georgia State Patrol is conducting Operation Precious Cargo this week in an effort to educate adults to the dangers children face when they ride unrestrained in a motor vehicle.  Colonel Bill Hitchens, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said Georgia State Troopers will not only be enforcing Georgia’s child restraint law during the week-long campaign but also educating adults about proper child seat use.  The program begins Monday, February 12 and ends Sunday, February 18.

           “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of five children ages 14 and younger died and 640 others were injured across the country every day in 2005,” Colonel Hitchens said.  “That’s why our troopers will be working during the week enforcing Georgia’s child restraint law and educating parents and caregivers about the importance of properly restraining children in their vehicles.”

           Colonel Hitchens said 30 children younger than age five died in Georgia traffic crashes during 2004.  “Georgia had the second highest number of deaths in this age group among the eight Southeastern states,” he said.  He noted that nationwide approximately 7,500 lives have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 20 years.

           “Despite the tremendous progress during that time, motor vehicle crashes still remain the number one killer of children ages 4 to 14 in America,” Colonel Hitchens said.  “All too often it is the improper use or non-use of child safety seats and booster seats that is to blame.”  State troopers encourage adults to make sure everyone is properly restrained at all times in a motor vehicle no matter how short the trip.  For children required to ride in a child restraint or booster seat, troopers recommend that the instruction manual for that seat be carefully read before installing the child seat in a motor vehicle. 

           Colonel Hitchens said the three most common mistakes in installing a child safety seat are not attaching the seat correctly and tightly to the car or truck; not fastening the harness tightly enough; and not using the chest clip or using it incorrectly.  “Children do not know they are at risk by riding unrestrained in a motor vehicle,” the commissioner noted, “so adults must make sure children are safe.”

           Operation Precious Cargois a program of the Georgia Department of Public Safety to promote safety for children while riding in motor vehicles.  The campaign began in 1991.

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Contact Information: 
DPS Public Information Office