11:42 AM

UHD Partner, the Harris County Sheriff's Office, to Host Free Car Safety Clinic

Summer road trips require more than just time off from work and school, but they also require preparation. Each year the Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO), through its Motorist Assistance Program (MAP), comes to the aid of thousands of motorists with vehicles experiencing trouble on Houston highways.

To keep Houston-area drivers safe and get their cars ready for summer travel, several community organizations are working together to hold a free drive-thru community Car Safety Clinic and Car Seat Check-Up Event. The event is set for Thursday, April 17, from 3 - 6 p.m. at Northline Commons, located at 4400 North Freeway, Houston, TX, 77022. A phone bank will precede the drive-thru clinic on Wednesday, April 16, from 4 - 6:30 p.m., and the public will be able to call in with their car maintenance and car seat safety questions before attending the event. English and Spanish techs will be answering callers' questions. The public number to call for English is: (713) 866-7021 and for Spanish: 713-866-7032.

AAA Texas Approved Auto Repair shop technicians will be conducting free 38-point visual maintenance inspections for the public at the drive-thru event. Each visual maintenance inspection takes about five minutes, and event organizers will offer several lanes to get motorists through the event quickly. HCSO deputies and Safe Kids Greater Houston will also be on site to offer free car seat checks.

Maintenance inspections and car seat checks will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parents or caregivers wanting a car seat check are asked to bring their child, the child's car seat, the car seat owner's manual, and the vehicle owner's manual so that car seat technicians performing seat checks can find the most appropriate fit. Spanish speakers will be available for both the maintenance inspections and the car seat checks.

Following the vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule in the owner's manual is the best way to keep a car running properly and avoid costly repairs. The 38-point maintenance inspection offered at the free Car Safety Clinic on Thursday, April 17, at Northline Commons will include a review of these items and others: tire pressure, tire tread, engine air filter, battery cables/clamps/terminals, windshield washer fluid/wiper blades, engine oil, and antifreeze/coolant protection.

Making sure a child is in the proper restraint system, car seat or booster seat can help provide protection in the event of a car crash. All children younger than eight years old who are shorter than 4 feet, 9 inches in height must be properly secured in a car seat or booster seat, according to Texas law. Children improperly restrained in a crash can suffer serious injuries and even death. Families in need of a car seat check should bring their children, car seats, and instruction manuals to the event.

Members of the public attending the event will receive one goody bag per car with additional educational information and community resources about vehicle repairs and maintenance as long as supplies last.

Community organizations working together to hold the April event include: Harris County Sheriff's Office MAP, AAA Texas, Texas Department of Transportation, and Verizon Wireless. Additional support provided by: Houston TranStar, Safe Kids Greater Houston, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Houston METRO, SAFEClear Program, Greater Northside Management District, Northline Commons and the Houston Car Dealers Association.

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