Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

C   O   M   M   I   S   S   I   O   N                N   E   W   S             R   E   L   E   A   S   E   

  Contact:  Kay Jenkins Rew, (610) 279-1645

February 14, 2000


Philadelphia, PA –The Pennsylvania Turnpike next week in conjunction with National Child Passenger Safety Week (February 13 through 19) will offer at two Turnpike Service Plazas free instruction on the proper use of child safety seats.

Pennsylvania State Police officers of Troop T and members of the Turnpike’s customer safety department on Tuesday, February 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. will be at the New Stanton Service Plaza, located at milepost 77.6 westbound, about 13 miles west of the Donegal Interchange, Exit #9, to demonstrate the correct installation of safety seats and discuss child safety.

On Saturday, February 19, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the demonstration will again be presented at the King of Prussia Service Plaza, located at milepost 328.4 westbound, approximately five miles west of the Norristown Interchange, Exit #25.

Director of Customer Safety Joseph P. McCool said, "These demonstrations are critically important since studies show that approximately 60 percent of all child safety seats are incorrectly installed. Not only will these sessions provide our customers with important and necessary information, they will help save lives."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of six to 14 years. In 1995, as a result of using child safety restraints, the lives of approximately 279 children age five and under were saved. The following chart is a safety guideline for transporting children from birth to preschoolers weighing up to 80-pounds.

Pennsylvania State Police Eastern Section Commander (Troop T) Lt. Thomas Traister said, "It’s important to pay attention to the guidelines. For example, a child under 80 pounds is generally still too small to use adult seat belts. The lap belt rides up over the stomach and the shoulder belt cuts across the neck which can cause critical or even fatal damage in a crash." Traister also reminds motorists that in Pennsylvania, the lack of proper restraints for children in a moving vehicle is a primary violation. Troopers can and do stop vehicles when they spot those violations, he explained.

Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin said, "The Pennsylvania Turnpike always takes pride in joining the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Pennsylvania State Police in this nationwide program to see that our children are protected. We invite all interested Turnpike motorists to stop by the King of Prussia and New Stanton Service Plazas for our free demonstrations."


 P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649