A new Kentucky child safety law has taken effect. It requires children younger than eight or under 57 inches tall to be secured in a booster seat while riding in a vehicle. This law went into effect on Wednesday, June 24, 2015.
Booster Seat Law
House Bill 315 or the Booster Seat Law was recently signed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. He stated that the passage of this bill provides greater safety and protection to children. The new law increased the height requirement from 40 to 50 inches tall to 57 inches. It also requires any child under 8-years-old to ride in a booster seat. This means children older than 8-years-old or over 57 inches tall don’t have to ride in a booster seat.
According to Kentucky State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Webb, the new law sends parents and caregivers an important message. The message is that seat belts are not designed for children. That’s where booster seats come into play. Moreover, Child Advocate at Kosair Children’s Hospital, Erika Janes stated that booster seats lift the children up off the vehicle seat so the seat belt is fit on the child’s hips as well as their collar bone. These are the parts you want the seat belt on because our bones can take the impact of a crash. Areas like our necks or stomach, which is where the seat belt fits on a child under 57 inches tall, cannot. That’s why it’s so important to have your child sit in a booster seat. It will keep them safe in the event of an accident.
Under the new law, violators will be issued a $30 fine with no court costs. Fortunately, there is a way to get this fine waived. All a violator has to do is show proof that they purchased a booster seat.
- Over 90% of child safety seats in the U.S. are installed correctly.
- When used correctly, child safety seats are 71% effective in reducing infant fatalities, 67% effective in reducing the need for hospitalization and 54% effective in reducing fatalities for children ages one to four.
- Booster seats lower the risk of injury to children by 60% compared to the use of seat belts alone.
- Partners for Child Passenger Safety stated that more than 90% of 4 to 8-year-old children who are seriously injured in a crash are not restrained in a booster seat.
What is a booster seat?
A booster seat is designed to allow seat belts to protect smaller children as effectively as they protect adults. Britax, a child car seat company, defines booster seats as “a type of child restraint that does not have a five-point harness system, but rather rely on the vehicle seat belt system to keep your child restrained.” They help place the adult seat belt in the proper places on a child. This could save the child’s live if they are in a car accident.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I would like to commend our legislature for increasing children safety and protection. As this law takes effect, I would like to remind motorists to make sure that we comply with the new requirements. Let’s do our part in making our roads safer for young passengers.