Booster seat law takes effect Friday -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Booster seat law takes effect Friday

Safety experts say a weekend crash in Walton County in which everyone was ejected except two children strapped in booster seats, shows why a new state law is important.

Starting Friday all children under the age of 8 must ride in a booster seat. That means some children who stopped using a seat at six will go back to using the booster seat. Children under eight are exempt if they're taller than four-foot-nine and weight more than 40 pounds.

 Safety experts say at that height, a safety belt fits a child properly.

"Vehicle manufacturers, manufacturer safety belts to fit, the shortest adult to be about 4'9" tall and children until they reach that height are really not prepared to sit in a lap and shoulder belt and have it hit them properly so the booster seat simply raises them enough so the hip and should belt fit across the strongest parts of their body," said Michele Strickland, Albany Safe Communities.

The change brings the state closer to standards set by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Starting Friday parents who don't secure their children can face a first time fine of $50.00.

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