2009-10-24 / News

New child restraint law goes into effect

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s roadways are about to become safer for children.

Effective Oct. 7, children younger than 8, unless they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, must use a booster seat. This new law – combined with existing law requiring children younger than 4 years and less than 40 pounds to use a child safety seat; and children 8 to 15 to use a safety seat or seat belt – will make traveling safer for Ohio’s children, said Ohio Department of Health Director Alvin D. Jackson, M.D.

“Seat belts were designed for adults – not children,” he said. “Now, children in vehicles will be better protected from the hazards of the road.”

At least 34 Ohio children between 4 and 7 died in motor vehicle traffic crashes between 1999 and 2006 and traffic is the leading cause of death for this age group. And, in 2007, only 18 percent of Ohio children ages 4 to 8 used a booster, according to Partners for Child Passenger Safety.

Law enforcement will issue warnings only beginning Oct. 7. Full enforcement will begin April 7, 2010, with fines ranging from $25 to $75 per violation.

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