Local News

Monday, May 19 2008 01:29 AM

Ask The Californian: Free child car seats and inspections?

By The Bakersfield Californian

Q: My friend had told me that if you go to the sheriff’s office and ask them to show you how to properly put in a child car seat that they would show you and give you a free car seat. I just want to know is this true or not?

— Jamie Thompson

Sgt. Ed Komin of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department said his department typically doesn’t do child car seat demonstrations. He told us he’d heard of the free car seat, but he doesn’t know if his department has been involved with that. He suggested calling California Highway Patrol and the Bakersfield Fire Department.

So we did. We were told that the Bakersfield Fire Department used to have that service but now refers people to CHP.

CHP Officer Greg Williams said his office helps with car seats on Mondays by appointments only. The Bakersfield CHP office is located at 4040 Buck Owens Blvd. Call 864-4444 for an appointment.

The Bakersfield Police Department Crime Prevention Unit also offers assistance with child car seats, and an appointment can be made by calling 326-3052.

Finally, you can get your car seat inspected by the injury prevention program of the Kern County Department of Public Health, said Silvia Lozano Cuesta, the county’s health educator assistant. Inspections are by appointment only. Call 868-0203 or 868-0378 for an appointment. The department also has a low-cost car seat program, where qualifying families can attend a class in English or Spanish and then obtain a car seat for $20. Call the previously listed numbers for more information.

Q: Can someone explain why the third eastbound lane marker on Stockdale Highway is discontinued between Via Riata Street and Ashe Road? It results in confusion and impedes traffic flow, especially during morning commuting traffic. Before and after these points eastbound Stockdale Highway has three lanes but is reduced to two lanes here for some reason.

— Lowell Lueck

That portion of Stockdale Highway was built when plans called for the road to be two lanes each way. The medians are currently too wide to stripe the road for three lanes.

However, the city will soon reconstruct medians in that area to make the road three lanes in each direction from Highway 99 to Gosford, said Arnold Ramming, a civil engineer with the Bakersfield Public Works Department.

Work is tentatively expected to begin in about four months, he said.

Ask The Californian appears on Mondays. Submit questions to asktbc@bakersfield.comor toThe Bakersfield Californian, Ask TBC, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, Calif. 93302.

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