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Updated Feb 10, 2014 - 11:11 am

Coalition claims parents are careless with car seats

Jim Garnand of Safe Kids Coalition joined Arizona's Morning News Weekend in studio on Saturday, Feb. 8, to talk about car seat safety. (KTAR photo/Becky Lynn)

PHOENIX -- There are some disturbing new statistics about kids not being buckled into child safety seats correctly when riding in the car.

Arizona law says that kids younger than 5 years old and weighing less than 40 pounds must be in a child safety seat in a vehicle. Children ages 5-8 and under 4 feet, 9 inches tall must be in a booster seat.

James Garnand of the Safe Kids Coalition said that according to his group's latest survey, a lot of people are ignoring the law.

"Twenty-five percent of parents say that they've driven with their child unrestrained in the car before," he said.

During an appearance on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's "Arizona's Morning News Weekend," Garnand said that people with higher incomes are more likely not to have their kids strapped in for the ride.

"Thirty-four percent of affluent parents, those that make over $100,000 a year, say it's OK if you don't restrain your child for short trips," he said. "That compares to 15 percent of parents who make less than $35,000 a year."

He added that he could not explain why the different incomes resulted in different attitudes regarding safety seats.

Garnand said that a high number of people are getting careless when it comes to the car seats.

"Up to 90 percent of the seats are installed incorrectly. They're either facing the wrong direction, or not in tight enough."

The Safe Kids survey also said that 23 percent of the parents responding who were under 30 years old think it's OK if their kids are not in safety seats during overnight trips.

Garnand said it's important that parents always fasten their kids into the car seat, and that it is properly installed.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says that 44 children 14 years old or younger were killed in Arizona traffic accidents in 2012. An additional 3,600 were injured that year.

For tips on how to install a car seat correctly, visit

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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