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Grants fund child passenger safety training

Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded two grants totaling $155,000 for a child passenger safety program throughout the state.

The grants to the Franklin County Commission, which serves as a funneling agency for the North Central Alabama Highway Safety Office, will allow the regional office to continue the training program that conducts three-day certification classes 12 to 15 times each year for firefighters, police officers, parents and anyone who wants to help parents. The classes offer hands-on assistance on proper use of child restraint systems and seat belts to ensure the safety of children riding in a vehicle.

Eddie Russell, program director and grant administrator for the North Central Alabama Highway Safety Office, said training sessions are directed by statewide coordinator Mikes James.

“The child passenger safety grant is just one of many grants that the county is a pass-through agency for,” Russell explained. Funding, in the case of the child passenger safety grant, covers materials as well as instructor salaries.

“Proper use of child restraints and seat belts can save a child’s life in the event of a crash,” Bentley said. “This program gives parents confidence that the car seats protecting their children are properly installed and that their children will be safe and secure.”

The training course includes lectures, discussions and information on crash dynamics, injury prevention strategies, child restraint selection and installation. More information about the program is available at

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation.