A statewide enforcement program officially known as “3 Flags” began in the waning days of August and is scheduled to stretch beyond Labor Day weekend. The initiative hopes to cut traffic-related Oregon child injuries and deaths through a combination of enforcement and education.
“The purpose of 3-Flags is to increase seatbelt use and decrease the number of speeding and/or impaired drivers,” according to MyEugene.org. In addition to people driving too fast, or engaged in Oregon drunk driving, the program also targets child seat use. The goal of this part of the program is both to increase awareness of Oregon’s child restraint laws – and of the resources available to help poorer parents get the child seats they need at a free or reduced price – and to ensure that parents using an approved booster or baby seat install and use it properly.
As the Gresham Outlook notes, in 2009 “observed booster seat use was only 58 percent among children ages 4 to 8… one-third of children in this age group who were killed or injured in crashes last year were not using booster seats.” As I noted in an earlier post, more than one highway safety study over the years has shown that the number of people – as many as ¾ of all drivers using the devices according to some sources – whose children ride in improperly installed child seats is shockingly high.
Enforcement efforts such as this one are excellent ways to cut down on unnecessary Portland, Salem, Eugene and Gresham child deaths resulting from Oregon auto accidents. As an Oregon child injury attorney it is always heartening to see initiatives designed to lessen the harm suffered by children who are unfortunate enough to be involved in an auto accident. Parents are well-intentioned, but sometimes they need a bit of help to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions in the proper manner.
The Oregonian: 3-Flags program to focus on statewide traffic safety enforcement
The Gresham Outlook: Police target seat belt, booster seat usage
MyEugene.org: Oregon traffic enforcement program to run through September 11