The Laramie Police Department is cracking down on seat belt enforcement while tracking seat belt use and ticketing in the area. While most people understand seat belt laws when it comes to adults, people are often confused about the laws that come with child safety restraints.

Officials at the Laramie Police Department offer a few tips to help people when it comes to keeping children safe and obeying the traffic laws.

Crime Prevention Officer Kyle Groose says that officers look at two things when ensuring child safety restraints are being properly used: the child and the placement of that child.

Firstly, children under the age of nine are required to be in a child safety restraint such as a car seat or booster seat. The only exception to the ninth birthday rule is if a licensed physician states that the child no longer needs a safety seat. If someone does have permission from a physician, a signed document must be in the vehicle in which the child is not using the seat. Officers will also check to make sure the child is belted into the seat and is properly wearing the seat belt according to the manufacturer’s directions for it.

Secondly, officers look at the position of the child within the vehicle. Children are required to be in the back seat unless the vehicle only has one row of seats or all other seats are being used by child passengers. In addition, any rear facing seats are not allowed to be placed in front of an active airbag.

The first offense for not properly using a child safety restraint comes with a fine of $50. Any offense after the first carries a fine of $100.

People in Laramie do have options to double check that they are properly using their child restraint device. The Laramie Fire Department offers car seat inspections on Tuesdays and Saturdays from about 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Anyone wanting an inspection must make an appointment by calling the fire department at 307-721-5332.

Not only will the inspection ensure that the seat is being used properly, but trained professionals will teach how to install the car seat based on the specifications of that car seat and the vehicle. They will also inspect the seat to ensure it is not a model which is too old to use safely.

Also, Officer Groose says if anyone has questions or would like an officer to check their car seat they can do so by calling the non-emergency dispatch number at 307-721-2526 or by calling him at 307-721-3527.