09/08/09 — Car seat checkpoint will have festival feel

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Car seat checkpoint will have festival feel

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on September 8, 2009 1:46 PM

Highway Patrol Troopers Bennie Grady and Jimmy Graham know there are some folks who would normally rather avoid them when they see them.

Burton said he thinks that fear keeps a lot of people from showing up at child-seat safety checks. He said he worries about what will happen to children left unchecked in defective or improper car seats.

So the Sept. 12 car seat check event at Rosewood Wal-Mart will be more like a festival than a lineup, Grady said.

"We lose a lot of people who really need attention," because of their fear of Highway Patrol troopers who often do child seat safety checks with Safe Kids and the Partnership for Children of Wayne County, usually more than once per year.

So forget the "safety only" atmosphere -- the Safe Kids and Burton decided the Wayne County Community Day would be about attracting patrons with fun, retail displays and simulators.

A number of community retail vendors now have booths and an interest in the program.

To attract the folks who might be afraid of Highway Patrol troopers, a few concessions have been made -- within reason, of course.

Burton says no patron stands to get in trouble at this event. The Highway Patrol will not be there to inspect anything but child seats. Valid licenses, registrations and the like won't be examined, the trooper said.

Grady and Graham originally worried there would be little total space for the event.

But Rosewood Wal-Mart store manager Jose Morales said he would donate as much space in his parking lot for the event as possible.

"We want to try and help the community out. It's a good cause, anything to do with infants, or any children at all, we want to try to help out as much as we can," Morales said.

His assistant manager, Rachel Edwards, also played an integral role in dealing with the Highway Patrol, the store manager said.

"You're getting three or four events in one," Morales said. "So why not. We just want to get the word out about safety in child safety seats."