Burnaby, British Columbia – The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) Traffic Safety Foundation will kick off its campaign for Child Passenger Safety Month on June 1, 2009. The campaign, which increases public awareness about child passenger safety, is now in its second year.

As of July 1, 2008, B.C.’s laws require all drivers to be responsible for transporting any child under the age of nine in a vehicle to be in an age- and weight-appropriate child car seat or booster seat.

“It’s been a good year, especially with regard to booster seat use,” said Marg Deibert, child passenger safety program manager. “Leading up to the change in the laws we were seeing a slight increase in booster seat use, but after the new laws came into effect, use of booster seats has gone up significantly.”

Booster seat use increased from 18 to 66 per cent following the new law, but Deibert said that there are still drivers out there who are compromising the safety of the children in their vehicles by not using proper child restraints.

As part of the 2008 campaign, the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation launched the Child Car Seat Matching Fund to provide car seats and booster seats to families in need. “We set aside $100,000 to match gifts from donors to purchase child car seats,” said Allan Lamb, the foundation’s executive director. “Since then, the foundation has received significant donations from the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association, Metropolis at Metrotown, CIBC and Rotary Clubs, as well as smaller organizations and individuals.”

The foundation will hold child passenger car seat checks in communities around the province during June. For more information, call 1-877-247-5551 or visit ChildSeatInfo.

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