CHANGES TO CALIFORNIA CHILD SAFETY SEAT LAW TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2012.
Just a friendly reminder to all of our great parents and Cub Scout Leaders that the new seat belt law that takes effect January 1, requires that all children age 8 or younger must be properly buckled into a car seat or booster seat, and in the back seat. In addition, children age 8 or older that are not tall enough for the seat belt to fit properly must ride in a booster or seat as well.
A child fits an adult seat belt when:
- They can sit against the vehicle seat back with their knees bent without slouching and can comfortably stay in in this position throughout the trip.
- The lap belt is low on the hips touching the upper thighs
- The shoulder belt crosses the chest, but is not on the face or neck
Previously the law required that children remain in a booster seat until age 6 or they weighed 60 pounds.
The ticket for violating this law is significant. For each child younger than age 16 who is not properly secured, parents (if in the car) or the driver can be ticketed for more than $475 and receive a violation point on their driving record.
Most children impacted by the new law can remain in the booster seat they already have. If it is necessary to buy a new one, low back boosters can be purchased at major retailers for between $15 and $25.
Never let children put the shoulder belt behind their arm or back. In a crash, the child could sustain major injuries, including head and spinal cord injuries. If children are putting the shoulder belts behind them that is a sign that they still need a booster.
Drivers of Scouts on outings should be prepared with booster seats for all those younger Cubs that are affected by this new law. Remember, SAFE SCOUTING is no accident!
For more information about car seats, the new law or help in determining if your child still needs a booster seat, call your local health department, or the California Highway Patrol, or the California Office of Traffic Safety.