A new law requiring children age 6 and younger to be properly secured when riding in motor vehicles takes effect July 1. Violation of the law will result in a fine of up to $69 to the driver.
Under the new law, children 6 years of age and younger must be properly secured in child safety seats or booster seats. Previously, Idaho’s safety seat law applied only to children up to age 4. Idaho is the 28th state to adopt a booster seat law.
“This law will help protect more of Idaho’s children – especially those age 4 to 6 – by requiring them to be in a booster seat,” said Greg Fredericksen of the Idaho Transportation Department’s Office of Traffic and Highway Safety.
a critical time when kids have outgrown safety seats but are still too
small to use seat belts alone. Booster seats bridge this gap and protect
kids in the event of a crash.”
Nationally, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 4 to 7 years of age. Between 2001 and 2003 in Idaho, nine children (ages 4 to 8) died and 73 were seriously injured in passenger vehicle crashes. Thirty-five of the injured children were unrestrained.
“The biggest danger to kids this age is the lack of any safety restraint in the car,” Fredericksen added. “Children rely on their parents or caregivers to keep them safe. It is the responsibility and obligation of the driver to make certain the child is safely restrained, whether in a safety seat or a booster seat.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends
that all children should ride in safety or booster seats, using the
Children taller than 4 feet 9 inches may be big enough to wear seat belts alone. All children 12 and younger, or less than 100 pounds, should ride in the back seat and never in front of an air bag.
An OTHS campaign aimed at educating parents and caregivers about the new booster seat law will launch in early July. For more information about the new law and booster seats visit http://www.itd.idaho.gov/ohs/ChildSafety/index.html