Child Restraint Systems

One of Boise City’s finest citizens asked me to talk a bit about child restraint systems and about lack of their use in and around Boise City.I come from an area not even a town so I can say I understand why people think they can go a few blocks or across Boise City while holding their child, grandchild, niece, nephew or friends’ child in their lap or allowing them to stand up. I see this often, especially when I am off-duty. By the time this column is printed I may have worked a “seat belt shift” in and around town. It is not a popular shift to work but we are expected to work them for many good reasons.

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People like the many fine ones in Cimarron County get lulled into the belief that “It hasn’t happened here”. Many think that since the speeds are low in the back streets and even main that nothing will happen. I think Boise City is remarkable in that we haven’t had a serious wreck in town since I have been here that I can remember. That does not mean there won’t be one soon. Even at only 25 mph an un-restrained adult can crush a small child between their body and the dash or steering wheel. A deploying air bag can cause injury to a child especially un-restrained ones. Air bags save many lives and reduce countless injuries but are designed to work WITH child safety devices and seat belts. As per most vehicle owners manuals it is best to place safety seats and children in the rear seat.

As for experiences I can talk about I can say in Pushmataha County where I am from in SE Oklahoma on the edge of Antlers, the county seat and not much bigger than Boise City only a few short years ago my cousin, a fine kid, pulled innocently from a store onto main street into the path of a vehicle. The crash itself was not all that bad. I don’t even think the cars were totaled. (I didn’t work the crash) However, the car that was driving on main broadsided my cousin. He was not seriously hurt. In the car that hit him was a man on the passenger side holding a small child. The combination of the mans weight and the deploying air bag snapped the childs neck resulting in near instant death. A very sad situation.

It could happen on any back street or on main right here in Boise City at anytime. If you think it can’t you should look at your children, grandchildren etc. and ask yourself if it is worth the risk to them. I hope you decide it isn’t………….

Trooper Duane Johnson #280

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