New child restraint safety program launches in Guilford Co.

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro police are helping launch a new program this week in Guilford County designed to improve the safety of children riding in cars.

It’s called the Child Passenger Safety Diversion Program.

Drivers cited for child restraint violations will be given the choice to attend an educational class at a certified safety seat checking station to have the citation dismissed.

A technician at the class will teach drivers about child passenger safety and how to properly install a car seat.

Once completed, the driver will be given a certificate to present to the District Attorney’s Office on their court date.

Citations for improperly restrained children cost over $200.

Greensboro police say this program is not about avoiding paying a ticket, it’s about saving lives.

Officer Lauren Lewis says most of the citations she writes are to drivers who have car seats but don’t have their children strapped in.

By law, a child is required to be in a car seat if they’re younger than 8 years old or weighs less than 80 pounds.

The Greensboro Police Department issued 274 citations for improperly restrained children in 2012 and 299 so far this year.

Nearly 800 kids were hurt in accidents last year, according to GPD.

The diversion program launches Friday. Violators get one chance to participate and have citations dismissed.

Greensboro police will hold a free child safety seat clinic Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Greensboro Costco parking lot on Wendover Avenue.

To locate a certified safety seat checking station: