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Office of Traffic Safety

Occupant Protection

In spite of the great strides made, thousands of young people, from newborns through age 20, continue to die or experience serious injuries that could have been prevented had they been properly restrained in a child safety seat, booster seat, or safety belt. The most recent statewide seat belt survey, conducted in 2015, reports a 97.3 percent seat belt use rate. Seat belt and child safety seat programs continue to focus on statewide and local public information campaigns, increased enforcement, and community education, outreach, and training. More specifically, the programs provide child safety seats to low-income families, conduct child safety seat check ups, and educate teens about using seat belts.

OCCUPANT PROTECTION PROGRAM AREA GOALS

  • To increase seat belt compliance
  • To increase child safety seat usage
  • To reduce the number of vehicle occupants killed under the age of eight
  • To reduce the number of vehicle occupants injured under the age of eight

2017 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Keeping Baby Safe- Right From The Start
With California’s new child passenger safety law requiring all children under two years old to ride rear facing in an appropriate child safety seat unless they are either 40 pounds or 40 inches tall, Butte County Public Health Department recognized a key opportunity to improve the safety of infants and children under two years of age traveling in motor vehicles. Activities included: presentations in pediatrician offices and childbirth and WIC classes; distribution of over 5,000 copies of educational materials disseminated in 48 countywide locations; two NHTSA certification courses resulting in 34 new Child Passenger Safety Technicians and one recertification course resulting in an additional five Child Passenger Safety Technicians; the establishment of two new fitting stations for Butte County residents; six “roll call trainings” resulting in 75 law enforcement officers trained in all laws related to occupant protection; 49 traffic safety education classes impacting 583 parents, caregivers, and professionals; and seven child safety seat checkup events. Through the classes, checkup events and fitting stations, 106 grant-funded child safety seats were distributed.

Training Professionals To Promote Older Driver Safety
The Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (TREDS) program at UC San Diego provided training to health care providers, law enforcement officers, and other professionals to improve their ability to identify and manage the referral of older adults with impairments that affect driving. Training topics included cognitive and physical impairment, medications, and criteria for reporting drivers for re-examination by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). TREDS reached target audiences through in-person and online trainings, publications, and outreach to medical schools, training over 650 clinicians and distributing over 3,100 screening guides. TREDS also collaborated with the California Highway Patrol to train approximately 5,000 CHP officers on the Driver Orientation Screen for Cognitive Impairment. Training on driving impairments associated with medical conditions and older roadway users was delivered to additional audiences, including DMV Driving Safety Hearing Officers and the California District Attorneys Association.

Keeping Everyone Safe
The CHP implemented a statewide project to address the need for established safety and mobility programs for older drivers to prevent traffic injuries and fatalities. The project promoted the establishment of multidisciplinary community-based collaborative groups who assessed safety and mobility issues and made recommendations to address the needs of the senior driving community. The collaborative groups included members from public and private organizations, including law enforcement personnel,health and aging professionals, and transportation agency representatives. The CHP also partnered with the DMV to educate the motoring public with specific emphasis on older drivers. A total of 422 senior driver traffic safety presentations were conducted, impacting 16,262 people.