Tuesday, February 09, 2010


After all the commotion a few years ago, the carseat law requiring children to be in booster seats until 8 years old passed in Utah. Now KSL reports HB 113 bill would allow children over the age of 5 to ride without a booster seat if going less than 4 miles and under 45 miles per hour. (It still requires seat belts.)

I think this bill is a great idea. My main concern with the original bill that passed was that it did not take into account realities of driving more than one or two children in a car. Right now, if one of my friends wanted me to take their child home from school, I couldn't because I don't have a booster seat and another one will not fit in my van. There is an extra seat, but with two boosters back there already, a third would not fit. This means that I break the law if I help. This bill would allow for quick local travel. I'd be able to help without the guilt of breaking the law.

One of the concerns raised was how do you tell a child today he has to be in a booster seat, but tomorrow he doesn't. You tell them. Kids are used to having to deal with things that are ok some days but not others. If your child doesn't handle it well, then always make them ride in a booster.

Another concern is that most accidents happen with in 5 miles of home. But I don't think that people will suddenly stop using booster seats. Most of the children will be in a booster and a few will be in seat belts. This won't be any different than 2 years ago. The law isn't allowing for children to be unrestrained. If they aren't in a booster they would be in a seatbelt.

I think it's a bad idea to pass a law that large numbers of people will break. This change will allow people to lend a hand without breaking a law. This bill would allow for the safety of the law, while balancing the realities of moving children around.


rcstanley said...

Here's what I posted on KSL:

I'd like the booster seat law to change. (I use booster seats all the time and would even if it wasn't the law.) The current law makes it illegal to pick up a child in an emergency. I can't legally pick up my friends kids if she needs me to because I don't have enough car seats (even if I did, it wouldn't help because I can't fit a third booster across the back seat and children shouldn't ride in the front passenger seat due to air bag issues). My husband can't use his car to get the kids from school if I can't because we don't have enough boosters. (Really, four boosters for two kids seems a little excessive.) What that means is that I break the law. I think having a law that people will break frequently for legitimate reasons is asking for trouble. This change to the law would allow for those little emergencies that come up. I think it would be a good balance of safety and reality.

Alicia said...

Wahoo Rachel! I heard about this last night and was excited that someone was trying to do something. Doug Wright was going nuts today, basically saying we are bad parents if we pass this law. The carpooling thing is a pain. I have the kids use what boosters I have, and then strap them in tight. I know what you mean about not fitting the car seats all the way across. I already had to buy a new car since the carseats wouldn't fit. What should I do, buy an even BIGGER car so that I can carpool? Thanks for voicing your opinion, I feel like I am out in left field sometimes.

Jen said...

well said, I thought the same thing when the lady on the news asked "how do you tell kids one day they don't have to ride in a booster, and the next that they do?" Kids are smarter than she makes them seem.