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AAA Nevada promotes proper usage of child safety seats

Although parents will do anything to protect their children, they often unknowingly fasten young ones improperly in car seats.

University Medical Center and AAA are pushing the importance of car seat inspections, as it takes only a few minutes to ensure that the seat is properly installed.

Though most parents think their car seat is safely installed, research shows that 75 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly, AAA said.

AAA Nevada’s nationally certified child passenger safety technicians offer free car seat inspections and installations year-round.

AAA car seat technician Jennifer Martinez has been inspecting car seats for four years and recalled her first child passenger safety seat course, which ignited her dedication to informing others.

“Every single thing you could think of that a parent could do wrong, I did. I was completely mortified,” Martinez said in a release. “At that point, the light bulb clicked in my head. I need to make sure my child is safe. If I can make my child safe, why not be out there in the community and do the same for others?”

Properly installed child car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers, AAA research found.

As part of Child Passenger Safety Week, AAA is highlighting the most commonly made mistakes in car seat installation.

Don’t move children out of booster seats too soon: Seat belts are designed to fit adults, and improper usage can result in head, neck or spine injuries in children. Caregivers should keep children in booster seats until a seat belt fits them properly.

Ensure the car seats are secured properly: If the seat belt or lower anchor connection is too loose, the car seat will not stay put, subjecting a child to greater crash forces. Children’s car seats should not move side to side or front to back more than 1 inch when tested at the belt path.

Properly tighten harness straps: If a harness is too loose, children will not be properly restrained if a crash occurs. Harness straps should lie flat without any twists. The harness should be snug enough that you cannot pinch any extra harness material at a child’s shoulder.

New RTC website

Last week, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada unveiled its newly redesigned website, which includes a feature to keep Southern Nevada better informed on transportation and traffic-related issues.

The website’s blog will offer an engaging perspective on RTC initiatives aimed at improving transportation and daily commutes via new services, projects and technologies.

“Everyone depends on transportation — cars, buses, bicycles — yet they may not realize what is going on behind the scenes to improve their commute, enhance safety and reduce congestion,” said RTC deputy CEO M.J. Maynard. “We want the community to better understand what we do, how we do it and why we do it. With the blog, we can tell these stories in a fun yet informative way.”

To address the challenges that come with transportation evolving as the Las Vegas Valley grows, the RTC is taking a proactive approach to creating forward-thinking plans, testing and implementing new technologies, focusing on important necessary projects and offering helpful services.

The blog will allow the RTC to communicate directly with Southern Nevadans on what it is doing and how it will improve the community.

Part of that is highlighting the testing of electric buses over the summer and the installation of steel bollards at 20 bus shelters to increase public safety.

The blog can be found in the newsroom section of the RTC’s website.

New I-15 interchange opens

The Nevada Department of Transportation celebrated the completion of the new Interstate 15/Starr Avenue interchange between Cactus Avenue and St. Rose Parkway on Wednesday.

“The interchange provides new and improved freeway access for local businesses and residents,” NDOT Director Kristina Swallow said in a release. “It additionally improves safety and connectivity by providing another east-west corridor for the community to use in this rapidly growing area of the valley.”

The project, which broke ground on Nov. 30, 2017, also extended Starr Avenue under I-15 between Dean Martin Drive and Las Vegas Boulevard. Other upgrades are sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle lanes, lighting, drainage and traffic and ramp signals.

The Starr Avenue interchange is part of the $1.2 billion I-15 south corridor project between Tropicana Avenue and Sloan that was launched in 2007. With the Starr Avenue interchange, the department has invested $411 million in the corridor thus far.

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