Thousands of Minnesota families have benefited from a program that provides free car seats to those in need.
The Department of Public Safety says that over the last two years it has provided 4,591 car seats through a program that ensures low-income families are transporting their kids safely.
The program started in 1994 and is administered by the DPS Office of Traffic Safety.
Families that meet low-income guidelines may be eligible to get car seats at more than 100 locations statewide. The seats are from local public health offices, hospitals, law enforcement, fire departments and other agencies that partner with DPS.
Child passenger safety coordinator Heather Darby says the proper use of car seats is critical. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of deaths to children age 14 and under.
At least 300 people were arrested for DWI in Minnesota on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, according to preliminary DWI arrest information from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety.
A report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday shows that alcohol-related traffic deaths are on the rise in Minnesota.
Traffic safety experts say seat belt use statewide has increased from 83 percent in 2006 to 92 percent this year.
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