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Enforcement phase of new booster seat law begins June 1
Houston County Courier

HOUSTON COUNTY - Starting June 1, law enforce-ment officers may issue cita-tions for violations of the re-cent changes to the child pas-senger safety law. The law requires all children younger than eight years old – unless already taller than 4’9” – to be in the appropriate child safety seat system anywhere the child rides in a passenger vehicle. A passenger vehicle is de-fined as a passenger car de-signed to transport not more than 10 occupants including the driver, a truck, light truck, truck tractor, sport utility ve-hicle and a passenger van de-signed to transport not more than 15 occupants including the driver. The law also requires that all safety seat systems (safety or booster seats and safety vests) be installed according to the manufacturers’ instructions – including age, height, weight requirements and the proper placement in the vehicle. Some manufacturers prohibit using their products on the front seats of vehicles. The law was passed last year during the legislative session and went into effect on Sep-tember 1, 2009. Officers could only issue verbal or written warnings for the first nine months – but now the enforcement phase is in effect. Fines are $25 to $250 plus court costs, potentially much more than the cost of a safety or booster seat. Safety seats and booster seats not only save lives: they save families. Texas Department of Public Safety officials said, “Consider the impact to your family if your child isn’t buckled up properly and is injured or killed in a crash. Many times the injuries an improperly restrained child receives are life-long. Are you ready for the consequences of not securing a child?”


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