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The State

Bakersfield motorists are “the worst in the state” when it comes to strapping their children into car-safety seats and rank below-average in complying with the new mandatory seat belt law, a new state survey said. The state Office of Traffic Safety survey showed 37.9% of Kern County infants are secured in approved safety seats while on the road. State officials say that figure is “the worst in the state.” The survey said 49.9% of Bakersfield motorists comply with the state law on seat belts enacted in 1986, whereas statewide compliance is about 65%. “The usage of belts by adults is slightly below the statewide average, and the use of child seats is atrocious in Kern County,” said Peter O’Rourke, Office and Traffic Safety director. He said the agency needs to do a better job in educating the county’s large Latino population about the law.


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