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FMPD donating safety seats to needy families

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The Flower Mound Police Department received a special delivery of 102 child safety seats that will be donated to families in need through the Texas Department of State Health Services Safe Riders program.

The police department is one of the four organizations participating in the Safe Rider program within the DFW area to help ensure children are traveling Texas roads safely.

“This is a great program for the Flower Mound Police Department to participate in because we have the opportunity to really impact families by providing an invaluable safety seat,” said Flower Mound Police Chief Andy Kancel in a news release. “Anytime we can help families and save lives, is a win for us.”

To participate in the program, low-income families must have a vehicle with a working safety belt and attend a one-hour class to learn how to properly use a child safety seat. Safe Riders participants will have unlimited educational assistance, and one-time seat assistance through the police department’s officers who are also certified safety seat inspectors. Families who would like to take advantage of the program are not required to be residents of Flower Mound.

“In my experience, four out of five families have their child safety seat improperly installed when they arrive at the police department,” said FMPD Officer Michelle Horridge, who is also a certified safety seat inspector. “Many people are not aware child safety seats actually have an expiration date and are no longer considered safe if they have been involved in an accident. I encourage any family to not only know the history of their car seat but to also schedule an appointment with us to have it properly inspected. We will be happy to take a look at it, point out any faulty parts, and ensure it is not included in any manufacturer recalls.”

In Texas, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for children ages 14 and under. In 2012, 210 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in Texas involving children 14 and under, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, approximately 1,800 children ages 14 and under are killed as occupants in motor vehicles and more than 280,000 are injured in the U.S. each year.  Half of the fatalities involved children who were not wearing a safety belt or child restraint. The goal of the Safe Riders program is to increase use of child safety seats to decrease the number child injuries and fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes.

To determine qualifications for the Safe Riders program, call the Flower Mound Police Department at 972-874-3343.

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