PARIS – Texas Department of Transportation safety officials in Northeast Texas Wednesday implemented a public program to help parents ensure that their children remain safe when traveling in a vehicle.
“If you see an unrestrained child traveling in a vehicle with Texas license plates, call the hotline and tell us the date, location and license number,” said Monica Freeman, TxDOT traffic safety specialist based in Paris. “We’ll take it from there. Police will not ticket the driver, but we will be in touch to help them get an approved child safety seat.”
The Paris District hotline number is (903) 737-9290 and callers can remain anonymous, Freeman said. Parents can call the hotline, too, to set up an appointment to have their car seat checked or to have a new one installed. Low-income persons often qualify for a free child safety seat courtesy of TxDOT.
“Also remember that used car seats, ones you get at a garage sale or from family members, may not be safe,” Freeman said. “Child safety seats have an expiration date and shouldn’t be used after that date. Replace car seats if and when the vehicle is involved in a crash.”
State law requires children less than eight years old and shorter than 4’9” travel in passenger vehicles in approved child safety seats. Those older than eight and taller than 4’9” can ride using adult safety belts. State law also requires every person in a vehicle to be buckled up, regardless of where they set in the car.
Freeman is available by appointment Monday through Friday at 1365 N. Main in Paris to help parents check their child safety seats to make sure that you install them properly.
For more information or to make an appointment, contact Monica.Freeman@txdot.gov or call (903) 737-9292. The Paris District encompasses Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Hopkins, Hunt, Lamar, Rains and Red River counties in Northeast Texas.