Tuesday, September 20, 2005

child safety seat standards raised


Earlier this year, Washington State raised the age requirement for the state's child passenger restraint law to 8 years old and prohibiting kids from riding in thefront seat until they are 13 years old.

Last week, the federal government put manufacturers on notice that new regulations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require booster seats to protect children up to 10 years old and weighing up to 80 pounds.

The legislation, dubbed "Anton's Law," was in honor of 4-year-old Anton Skeen, an Eastern Washington boy who died in a 1996 car crash. The boy had been wearing a seat belt but was so small that he slipped out of the shoulder strap.

"We need to make sure that child safety seats and booster seats protect our kids, no matter how large or how small they are," said Jeffrey Runge, who spearheaded the proposed stricter regulations as NHTSA chief.

currently, the requirements for Washington State are...
# Children up to 13 years old must ride in the back seat where it is practical to do so.

# Children up to 8 years old, unless they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, must ride in a booster seat or other approved restraint system.

# The restraint system must be used according to the car seat and automaker's instructions.

# Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement.

# In Washington, all vehicle passengers are required to wear seat belts. Anyone wearing a lap and shoulder seat belt must wear it correctly and not place the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back.

In Oregon, children up to six years old are required to be a child safety seat.

although I agree about child safety, how high are we going to keep raising limits? 14, 15 year olds are next?

How about we start requiring everybody to wear helmets because of all the head injuries due to vehicle accidents.

what about walking, how many injuries are caused due to tripping?

Sometimes I think comparing the way people drove when I was growing up compared to now, as the cars come with crumple zones, multiple air bags, I sometimes feel that people think that they are just indestructible judging by the way people run stop signs, red lights and are just totally careless on the road.

don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of safety, and I have assisted in enough accident scenes to have a pretty good idea the damage that can be done to some, but let's also not forget about common sense too.


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