|Ohio Enacts Child Booster Seat Law|
|Written by Janna Smeltzer|
|Monday, 12 January 2009 00:00|
More Ohio children will be required to be secured in booster seats, including those transported to and from school on yellow buses, and adults who fail to comply with the law are subject to citations.
The law signed last week by Gov. Ted Strickland goes into effect on April 6. It requires children between 4- and 8 years old and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall to be secured in booster seats, if they are not already secured in another child restraint system.
The law is not expected to have a significant impact on school transportation. Because the law applies only to vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds, only a small number of Type A school buses used largely in special needs transportation would be affected, said Pete Japikse, the state's director of pupil transportation. He added that local districts would have to pay for any costs associated with complying with the new law.
While law enforcement cannot stop a vehicle solely to determine if all child passengers are in the required seats, officers can cite drivers as a secondary offense. The fines collected — ranging from $25 to 75 — will contribute to pediatric trauma centers and a child highway safety fund.
National Transportation Safety Board member Debbie Hersman praised the governor and legislature for passing the law.
"Seat belts were not designed with our littlest passengers in mind, and they can even cause them harm. Child safety seats and booster seats are necessary to properly restrain and protect children in a vehicle," she said.
According to the NTSB, 44 states and the District of Columbia require the use of booster seats. But only 22 states, including Ohio and the District of Columbia, require their use through age 7, as the NTSB has recommended.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 05 November 2009 18:32|