AAA Washington Offers $5 Bounty for No-Longer-Safe Car Seats

BELLEVUE, Wash., Jan. 2 -- Search the attic, scour the garage and round up your old car seats and booster seats for the AAA Car Seat Bounty Program. AAA Washington, in partnership with American Commerce Insurance Company, is offering a $5 bounty for no-longer-safe car seats and booster seats turned in at AAA's 13 Service Center locations during the month of January.

Many no-longer-safe car seats and booster seats are bought and sold at garage sales, given to friends as hand-me-downs, or given to charities for resale by people who don't know the seats are no longer safe. When these seats are reused, they can compromise a child's safety in the event of a crash.

``We are encouraging people to bring in car seats they have stored in their attic or garage waiting to be reused or passed on to someone else. More than likely, seats in storage have exceeded the car seat 'life span' of 6 years, and should be destroyed,'' said Jennifer Harbison, AAA Washington's Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. ``Every seat we collect is a potential life saved.''

A child car seat or booster seat is no longer safe if it:

Has already protected a child in a car crash; Is more than 6 years old; Is missing critical parts and pieces (such as the harness or buckle), that can no longer be replaced by the manufacturer; or

Is listed on the Recall/Defect list as needing to be destroyed because parts are no longer available from the manufacturer. Recipients of a AAA ``bounty'' have the option of donating their $5 reward to the Safety Restraint Coalition for the purchase of car seats and booster seats for needy families in Washington.

``AAA Washington's goal is to see every child 0 - 8 years old seated safe and secure in a car seat or booster seat,'' said Harbison. ``The AAA Car Seat Bounty Program gets us one step closer to this goal by removing no-longer-safe car seats and booster seats from our community.''

Seats collected during the Bounty program will be destroyed at a car seat ``crush'' event during National Child Passenger Safety Awareness week, February 10-16.

For a complete list of AAA Car Seat Bounty drop-off locations or ``crush'' event details visit www.aaa.com or call 1-800-BUCK-L-UP.

AAA Car Seat Bounty partners include American Commerce Insurance Company, Safety Restraint Coalition, Waste Management Sno-King, Shurgard Storage and Washington State Child Passenger Safety Teams.

AAA Car Seat Bounty sponsors encourage parents to have their current car seats and booster seats inspected by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.

A not-for-profit organization, AAA Washington assists travelers through its highway and transportation safety advocacy programs. More information about AAA Washington is available at www.aaa.com.

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