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Child safety seat inspections find 80% failure rate
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A child safety seat checkpoint was held Saturday and the majority failed to pass the checklist. Pictured, from left, are Warren County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Kelly Carter, McMinnville Police Department officers Fred Lee and Toby Lewis, and McMinnville Fire Department firefighters Clint Walker and Todd Ratley.

The need for free child safety seat inspections became evident Saturday when eight of the 10 that were checked failed to pass the test.  

“When in doubt, get your child car seat checked out,” said McMinnville Police Lt. Mark Mara. “That’s going to be our new slogan. If you have any doubt that your child isn’t properly protected, have the car seat inspected. It’s a free service that can put your mind at ease.”

Eight parents are undoubtedly glad they did just that Saturday when McMinnville Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol and McMinnville Fire Department conducted a child safety seat inspection at 110 Market Street.

“We were there for two hours and inspected 10 car seats,” said Mara. “Of those, eight were incorrectly installed, wrong for the child, or had expired, meaning they were unsafe for continued use and needed to be replaced. Fortunately, we had child car seats readily available thanks to THSO (Tennessee Highway Safety Office).”

Four children received new car seats. 

Presented to those who stopped were coupons for a Hardee’s sandwich or biscuit, and Soaky Mountain Waterpark tickets. 

No citations were issued.

“This isn’t about writing citations. I can’t stress that enough,” said Mara. “This is about the safety of children while they are passengers in vehicles. We want to make sure your child is safe. That’s what these inspections are about – protecting children.”

Trained technicians are on hand during the sessions to inspect child safety seats looking for any that might be recalled due to a defect, made unsafe, installed incorrectly or not appropriate for the child’s age and weight. Currently, there are individuals in all four of the departments who are trained technicians.

Mara says the names of the parents who stopped by Saturday’s checkpoint will also be added into a drawing of four Lake Winnepesaukah tickets. Those winners will be announced on McMinnville Police Department’s Facebook page.