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An operation in West Cumbria over the summer holidays is aiming to improve child seatbelt safety.Operation Leader is looking at educating, enforcing and prosecuting people who are putting children’s lives at risk by not having them in the correct child seats when in vehicles.
The operation began at the end of July with a letter going to every school in West Cumbria for them to hand out to the pupils. The letter provides information about the legislation around the use of child seats. There are also details included about seven workshops which will provide advice to parents about the correct type of child seat to use.
The first two workshops were held over the weekend of the 21st July, with advice being given to people at Asda in Workington on Saturday and people at Tesco’s in
Whitehaven on Sunday. These workshops continue this week, with the next one o Wednesday 8th August at Co-op in Wigton.
During the course of Saturday, advice was given out to 35 members of the public and five free safety checks where done of child seat, all of which identified issues with the fitting or the type of seat in the car.
To support the operation, Listers (Oxford St Workington) and Halfords (Derwent Howe Retail Park, Workington) are offering a 10% discount on any child seat or restraint upon production of the letter sent home or a discount voucher which will be handed out at the workshops. The discount will be available until the start of the new school term in September.
PC David Edwards, who is leading the operation, said: “It is important that our children are safe when in any vehicle and we should never take a risk in having them in the correct child seat.
“These workshops give parents a chance to have their child seat’s checked to see if they are fitted correctly and are suitable protection for their child. I would encourage all parents to come along and see us, it could help to prevent serious injury or even something more tragic.”
In September, police officers will be actively checking the child seats at as many school as possible, and if any offences are found, then the parents will be prosecuted by a fixed penalty or being reported for summons.
PC Edwards continued: “Hopefully the workshops will be well attended and through advice and guidance we aim to have as many children as possible travelling in
“Our aim is to protect the children who are travelling on our County’s roads and to travel in safety. Making sure that a child seat is fitted correctly takes very little time and could save a life.”
The workshops are on the following dates and locations:
Wednesday 8th August – Wigton COOP
Friday 10th August – Cockmouth Sainsburys
Saturday 11 August – Keswick Central and Lakeside carparks
Saturday 25 August – Whitehaven Morrisons
Sunday 26th August– Workington Morrisons/Halfords