Frequently Asked Questions
What is Buckle Buddies?
Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, created the Buckle Buddies program to raise awareness about child passenger safety and to offer families educational information to help them keep their children safe.
How do I report a violation?
Buckle Buddies is a public service program featuring a statewide, toll-free, non-punitive hotline, 1-888-RUSCBUDDY or 1-888-787-2283. Violations may also be reported online. Anyone in South Carolina can use either method to anonymously report an unrestrained or improperly restrained child passenger in a motor vehicle. The caller leaves the South Carolina license plate, vehicle description, city and county where observed. The information is then faxed to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. SCDPS will then send the registered owner of the vehicle an informational packet in the mail explaining the program, along with information from Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital on child passenger safety and the South Carolina child restraint law.
Will my name be used if I report a violation?
Anyone in South Carolina can use either method to anonymously report an unrestrained or improperly restrained child passenger in a motor vehicle. You do not need to leave your name in order to report a violation.
What happens to the reporting information once a violation letter is sent?
Once the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) uses the vehicle information to send a letter and informational packet to the registered owner of the vehicle, all personal information is discarded. Only SCDPS has access to personal information. Your personal information will not be shared.
How do I get my car seat checked?
Visit our news and events to find a seat check event near you or make an appointment with a fitting station.
What type of car seat does Buckle Buddies recommend?
For your child’s safety, we recommend only getting new and unused seats. It is important to know the history of a seat and ensure it has never been in an accident. Refer to our car seat guidelines for detailed recommendation on what type of seat is appropriate for your child based on their age and size. Seat brand/model depends on the size of your child, the size of your vehicle, the size of your budget and your ability to use the seat correctly.
When can my child get out of a car seat?
There is not a specific age when your child should no longer ride in a booster seat, it depends on your child’s age and size, and your vehicle. Children may ride in the vehicle with no child passenger safety seat when they fit properly, like an adult, in the vehicle. This is usually around 8-12 years old and about 4’9” tall. Exactly when varies case by case. To be sure, visit one of our fitting stations or seat checks to have an experienced technician help you assess if your child fits properly in the vehicle seat.