Mon August 1, 2011

Enforcement of Expanded Child Restraint Law Goes into Effect Today

Starting today, revised child restraint laws take effect in Colorado.

A new law, enacted last year, requires children to be kept in booster seats until age 8.  Previously, it was only required for children under 6.  Officials say that for younger children, seat belts alone are often not enough to protect them in a crash. 

Between 2006 and 2010, 20 children ages 4 through 7 died in traffic crashes, 55% of them were either not restrained or improperly restrained.  Children ages 4 to 7, who use booster seats in vehicles, are 45% less likely to be injured in a crash. 

While the law went into effect a year ago, the state wanted to hold off on enforcement, to allow for an education and outreach campaign for parents and caregivers. But starting Monday, those tickets will start being issued.  Each violation carries a minimum fine of $82.  Under the law, a child can wear just a seat belt after they turn 8, but safety experts say for the best protection, kids should stay in booster seats until they are at least 4’9’’ tall.

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