Safety First

Jaxon Wolcott sat patiently, and comfortably, as Jamestown police officer Sam Piazza checked a nearby car seat.

The 1-year-old Ashville resident didn’t have much to say, either. His mother did all the talking during an annual child safety seat checkpoint Thursday, coordinated by the Jamestown Police Department and Chautauqua Opportunities Inc.

“It’s good to come by and make sure everything is right,” Summer Wolcott said. “I haven’t had any problems installing the (safety) seats. But it’s good to get them checked.”

In all, 50-70 car seats are examined during the annual check on Chandler Street, across from Chautauqua Opportunities Inc.’s building. With the help of a grant through Jamestown police, many old and outdated safety seats are replaced during the checkpoint.

A dozen cars were lined up Thursday afternoon as five members from the city police department looked over child safety seats, most of which police say are not installed correctly.

“This helps show parents what they might be doing wrong and how these seats should be installed,” Piazza said.

Said Falconer resident Amanda White, “These seats are ridiculous. No matter how many times you try to get them in there the right way, it’s always wrong. It’s just easier coming here and have these guys do it.”

According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, there were 80 motor vehicle crashes in 2011 that involved injuries to children 8 years old or younger in Chautauqua County; in 2010 there were 64 injuries to children as a result of a crash.

“It’s important that these seats are installed the right way,” Piazza said. “A lot of injuries could be avoided.”

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with State Police will hold a child safety seat checkpoint Thursday at the Midway State Park entrance in the town of Ellery.