‘We just want to keep people safe’

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2017

LaGRANGE – On Saturday afternoon, the Home Depot parking lot was busy for more reasons than just people hunting deals to fix up their yards in this spring that seemed to start in February. Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and children lined up to have troopers from the local state patrol office check car seats for safety and replace older and unsafe car seats with new car seats provided by the governor’s office of highway safety.

The troopers hold the event regularly, and besides installing the new car seats, they talked to family members about the right way to buckle in a child to keep them safe.

“Our goal is to make them understand the importance of safety,” said State Trooper George Cotton, who said he’d rather see someone at one of the car seat giveaways then have to pull them over for not having children properly secured in a car seat the next day or have to personally witness the worst-case scenario for children who are not properly secured in a car seat.

“We are the ones who have to go out and see what happens when people aren’t properly secured…” said Cotton. “We are trying to cut down on those kinds of injuries.”

Cotton emphasized that while most car seats are good for five to six years, and car seats that have been in an accident may no longer be safe and should be checked.

Almost all of the state troopers at the event were passenger safety technician certified, and they had all received training on the topic.