An initiative is underway in St. Johns County to better protect our children against car crash injuries. In an effort to establish a program to promote the use of driver and passenger safety restraints, Dennis W. Hollingsworth, CFC, St. Johns County Tax Collector, established Project Buckle Up in November of 2000. Previous information on passenger restraint usage showed a low percentage of compliance with Florida law. It also revealed that the majority of seats were improperly installed, expired or had structural flaws rendering them unsafe.
Partnering for Success
Support from community organizations has also played an important role in the success of Project Buckle-Up. Our local School District, Sheriff’s Office, Health Department, Hospitals, Fire Rescue and the Florida Highway Patrol are just some of the many organizations that have helped in the efforts to develop and expand our programs.
Project Buckle-Up addresses the obvious desire of parents, grandparents and guardians to provide safe transportation for their children. Crash tests and real life test-car crashes prove that properly installed child safety seats save lives. The St. Johns County Tax Collector’s Office has 5 nationally-certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians to implement a pro-active education and safety program which emphasizes the proper use of safety restraints. A special emphasis has been made on child safety.
Program highlights include:
- Students attend safety education activities at elementary schools and child care centers in St. Johns County.
- Children are weighed, measured, and given literature on proper child safety seats to take home to parents.
- Child safety seats are inspected and installed at locations of the Tax Collector’s Office and community events.
- Parents/Caregivers are trained on proper installation of child seats.
- Teen driver safety presentations are offered at local schools.
- Educational materials are distributed throughout the community.
Get the Safety Habit
Research shows that when a driver doesn’t wear a seat belt, 70 percent of the time the children in that car don’t either, placing an unbuckled child in danger. Remember the safety habits you help your child develop now will protect them for many years to come!
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the St. Johns County Tax Collector’s Office (904) 209-2250 x4636.