Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Law Hopes to Improve Car Safety for Kids

Until what age does my child need to ride in a booster seat in the car?

The Kentucky state legislature recently passed a bill that would expand the reach of booster seat requirements for children riding in cars. Currently, children under 7 years old and between 40 and 50 inches have to be placed into booster seats. The proposed law would require children under 8 years old and under 57 inches to ride in a booster seat; children younger than 8 but taller than 57 inches would not have to ride in a booster seat.

The law might take effect this summer, and parents will face a $25 fine if their child is not properly restrained in the car. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety is expected to launch a statewide campaign to inform and educate parents about the new requirements. There will also be clinics and fitting stations to check booster seats for proper installation.

There have been efforts to increase Kentucky’s height and age requirements for booster seats before, but they are usually the subject of some debate. Supporters point to national safety recommendations that are stronger than Kentucky’s laws and the need to protect children; critics dismiss the idea as overreaching government interference in parenting decisions.

Seat belts generally do not fit correctly on children and often lay across their abdomens rather than across their laps, which can lead to serious injuries. A Lexington police officer actually testified before lawmakers about his experience as a young boy in a car accident and the scars he still has because he did not fit properly into the seat belt he was wearing.

The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart has nearly 40 years of experience helping injured children who have been involved in car accidentssemi wrecks or other personal injuries. We have offices in Glasgow and Bowling Green, Kentucky, but travel throughout Kentucky and Tennessee to meet with clients. Contact us today at (888)782-9090 for a consultation.