The click it or ticket law keeps adults buckled up, but for kids in car seats it isn't as easy.
There is a lot to know when it comes to installing a car seat and may things that could make the difference between injuries in an accident. "It’s the beginning of the summer people are going to be in their cars a lot more,” said Tim Bowan, Bay County Sheriff’s Deputy. “We want to make sure everyone is as safe as possible." With the help of some other local agencies, the Bay County Sheriffs Office hosted a car seat safety clinic. Parents brought their children for some quick tips. "There are simple tips, It only takes a couple minutes and to know that your kids are safe is well worth the time,” said Rudy Olivo, father of two with another one on the way
Volunteers checked each seat for recalls, installation mistakes and even measured the children to make sure they are the proper height and weight for the seat. "Some of the things we find on the car seat, the harness straps are to low or tall, not tight enough, the retainer is not clipped, the seat is at a wrong angle,” said Lt. Terry Parris, Panama City Beach Fire Rescue. He went on to say out of then ten people that showed up during the first hour of the event, only 3 of them had everything correct.
For those that didn’t have the right seat, or were using a recalled seat, a new one was on the house. "We do have 12 booster seats and 12 car seats for smaller kids,” said Bowan. They gave away more than they were planning. Safety was the main goal, but what it really provided was piece of mind. "We never want to have to put the seats to use buts its good if they are we'll know they'll be as safe as possible,” said Olivo. "Because the job that we are in, we go to car accidents and we see things that no one should see,” said Parris. “We see children get hurt and unfortunately die and it as simple as just educating the parent that could save a life or prevent and injury… That’s why we do it." Car seat technicians have to go through a four hour safety course in order to get certified before they can help out at an event like this. There are multiple locations in BayCounty that you can go to talk with a certified technician. Those include Bay County Sheriffs Office and the Lynn Haven, Callaway and Panama CityBeach fire departments.