Douglas sheriff’s will destroy worn out car seats
On Monday, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will destroy all of the 52 car seats they removed from cars during free checkpoints due to recalls or damage.
The destruction of these seats will be symbolic of the necessity of inspections and education of child car seat safety.
The event will take place at 9 a.m. at the Douglas Disposal Transfer Station located at the end of Pinenut Road, south of Gardnerville.
The seats were taken from people who had come to one of the six voluntary free child seat checkpoints held in Douglas County this year. The checkpoints have been held since April when four DCSO deputies and one member of the Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District completed a one-week course in child passenger safety seat inspections.
Lt. Mike Biaggini then applied for and received a grant for $4,800 from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety and the Douglas County Restraint Education and Awareness Program was created. The money was used to buy new child car seats.
The program has been so successful that the Office of Traffic Safety approved another grant for an unknown amount to buy more car seats.
During the past six inspections, the program has inspected 189 child safety seats. Of those, only four were properly installed. Of the 189 seats, 52 dangerous seats were removed and 51 replacement seats were issued.
When a recalled or damaged seat is removed, a new seat is offered. Donations are requested, but no one is denied a seat due to lack of funds. Over $2,000 has been donated for the replacement seats so far.
The program has been helped by many local citizens and businesses.
Twelve members of the East Fork Fire District, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reserves and citizens have trained with the program to be volunteers or technicians. The Tahoe-Douglas Fire District Employees Association and Kiwanis International of Gardnerville and Carson Valley have both donated $500 for equipment for the program. The money was used to buy signs to announce the inspection stations. Kiwanis volunteers also assist at every checkpoint to do paperwork and direct motorists.
Hanson Enterprises has provided free storage for equipment and Port-of-Subs of Gardnerville has provided food at each checkpoint for volunteers.
The next child passenger safety seat inspection will be Saturday, Oct. 14 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Round Hill fire station near the Zephyr Cove Elementary School.