Colorado’s Child Passenger Safety Law Now Applies to All Children Under Eight
As of yesterday, all children under the age of eight are now required to use a booster or car seat when riding in a motor vehicle in Colorado. Last year, lawmakers had voted to extend the state’s child passenger safety law beginning on August 1, 2011. Previously, the law required only children four- and five-years old to be in booster seats.
Authorities say that children between the ages of four and seven are 45% less likely to be injured in a car accident than those wearing adult seat belts. Colorado State Patrol records show that 11 of the 20 children between the ages of four and seven who died in traffic accidents between 2006 and 2010 were killed because they were not wearing a seat belt or using a child seat correctly.
Drivers will be fined $82 each time police find that children under the age of eight are not properly restrained while in motor vehicles. The new law only applies to children under eight years old, but experts recommend that children use booster seats until they grow to be four feet, nine inches tall.
The Denver Post reports that the law also says:
• Babies younger than 12 months old and weighing less than 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing car seat, only in the back seat.
• Children over a year old and weighing more than 20 pounds can use a front-facing car seat, although rear-facing are still permitted.
• Children ages 4 to 7 must use a booster seat or a car seat. Car seats are recommended as long as a child is still at the upper weight limit to ride in one, typically 40-50 pounds.
For tips on proper usage, parents can visit any of the State Patrol’s seat-fitting stations. They can find one at carseatscolorado.com or by calling 303-239-4625 in metro Denver area.
Image by Colorado DOT, used under Fair Use: Reporting.