Stricter car seat law coming to California

Filed under: Big Kids, Tweens, Places To Go, Baby Essentials

Having just posted about our adventures and education this past weekend when shopping for a booster seat for Sara, California legislators are about to turn it up a notch. Already, California has some of the strictest car seat laws in the country, requiring kids to be in a car seat or booster seat until they are six years old or sixty pounds. If Governor Schwarzenegger signs the bill sitting on his desk, that would change -- kids would have to be eight years old or fifty-seven inches (4' 9") tall before they could abandon the car seat.

"Traffic accidents are the highest cause of fatality for children ages 6 and 7," said the bill's author, Assemblywoman Noreen Evans. "This is a serious, serious issue." Citing a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, Evans noted that "Children aged 4 to 8 who use booster seats are 59 percent less likely to be injured in a car crash than children restrained only with a seat belt."

This explains the introduction of a new (since Sara was born, anyway) car seat from British manufacturer Britax called the Regent. It can accommodate children up to eighty pounds or fifty-three inches. By the time kids get to be that size, however, I suspect they're ready for the lighter and much less expensive booster seats.

Of course, there are those who are opposed to the new legislation. They believe that safety decisions like when a child needs to be in a car seat are best left up to the parents who are infinitely more knowledgeable than the NHTSA and always make sure their kids are safe in the car. Personally, I'm in favor of the law. What do you think?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.