Legislation (H.R. 691) that would extend for two years the child passenger protection education grant program passed the House, by voice vote, on June 27.
Sponsored by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), the bill would authorize $7.5 million in each of FY2002 and FY2003 to make incentive grants to states to implement child passenger protection programs that are set to expire in December 2001.
Speaking in support of the bill, Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) said, “In 1999, more than 1,100 children under the age of 10 were killed in motor vehicle crashes and another 182,000 were injured.” He added, “Many of these injuries and deaths could have been avoided with the correct use of safety seats and seat belts; however, many adults are unaware they are using safety restraints incorrectly or not at all, thereby placing their child at risk.”
The child safety seat grant program, which was established in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (P.L. 105-178), is designed to educate the public and to train fire, medical, and other safety personnel about the proper installation and use of child restraints. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have received grants under the child passenger protection education program.