On Your Side: Parents ask WBTV to investigate lack of child safety seat checks
“I’m shocked by that, I always thought you could do that at the fire stations and had no clue that it had changed.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - We’re on your side – getting answers about parent’s concerns over the lack of child seat safety check stations in Mecklenburg County.
If you’re new to the area -- you may not be aware there are only four permanent sites listed.
We also found out the checking stations are only open a couple of times a month.
“It is an ongoing issue and ongoing concern because the babies are still coming.”
Tim Aycock is with the Matthews police department, one of the few permanent car seat checking stations out there according to Buckle Up N-C.
He says the problem is a certification issue as well as the lack of manpower.
“The certifications course is pretty intensive. It’s a forty-hour course just to get through the certification.” Aycock said.
But that’s not the end of it.
Every two years you officers have to go through a written test as well as a practical exam to prove they continue to have the stills for the installation.
And the number of officers trained at Matthews P-D has dropped by two-thirds.
“The most we’ve had is fifteen at one point, we have maybe five or six now at this point.”
That surprised a lot of parents with small children.
“A car accident is very scary.”
Brieanna Jones was at Freedom Park enjoying the day with her two young kids. She says having a second pair of eyes checking for proper installation is important.
“All these little things that you’re not quite informed about so you have to find them out on your own.” Jones told WBTV’s Ron Lee.
The prevailing thought is you can go to any fire station and get your child seat checked, but that’s not the case.
In fact, it hasn’t been that way for a decade.
There are only four permanent locations for the inspections: one in Charlotte, two in the extreme parts of Mecklenburg County and one across the border in Fort Mill.
“It definitely gives you a sense of protection.”
Bethany Tanner was taken aback when she heard about the lack of seat check stations.
“I’m shocked by that, I always thought you could do that at the fire stations and had no clue that it had changed.” Tanner said.
So too was Shelby Weight.
“Yeah, that’s shocking, you would think there’d be more available than that.”
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