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2010-05-21 digital edition

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2010-05-21 / General Stories

New Booster Seat Law Begins June 1

Are you ready for the next phase of the new booster seat law? Starting June 1, law enforcement officers may issue citations for violations of the recent changes to the child passenger safety law.

The law requires all children younger than eight years old - unless already taller than 4’9" - to be in the appropriate child safety seat system anywhere the child rides in a passenger vehicle. (A passenger vehicle is defined as a passenger car designed to transport not more than 10 occupants including the driver, a truck, light truck, trucktractor, sport utility vehicle and a passenger van designed to transport not more than 15 occupants including the driver.)

The law also requires that all safety seat systems (safety or booster seats and safety vests) be installed according to the manufacturers’ instructions - including age, height, weight requirements and the proper placement in the vehicle. (Some manufacturers prohibit using their products on the front seats of vehicles.)

The law was passed last year during the legislative session and went into effect on September 1, 2009. Officers could only issue verbal or written warnings for the first nine months - but now the enforcement phase is in effect.

Fines are $25 to $250 plus court costs...potentially much more than the cost of a safety or booster seat.

Safety seats and booster seats not only save lives: they save families. Consider the impact to your family if your child isn’t buckled up properly and is injured or killed in a crash. Many times the injuries an improperly restrained child receives are life-long. Are you ready for the consequences of not securing a child?

If you have questions, contact Beth Warren, DPS Safety Programs, at 512-424-5639 or beth.warren@txdps.state.tx.us.

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