A new law designed to protect children between the ages of six and eight whose height and weight still puts them at risk for injury as a result of being secured only by an adult lap or seat belt will go into effect in Georgia on July 1.
S.B. 88 requires that all children under eight years of age be secured in a child seat or booster seat. The child seat or booster seat must be located in the rear seat of the vehicle, must be appropriate for the child's height and weight and must meet all federal safety standards.
According to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, children using booster seats are 59 percent less likely to be injured in a crash than those using just a seat belt.
Children who are at least 4-foot-9 are exempt from the law as are children whose parents have obtained a written physician's statement explaining why the child cannot be restrained in a booster seat. Children who weigh at least 40 pounds may use a lap belt only instead of a booster seat if:
- the child weighs 40 pounds or more and the available lap and shoulder belts are being used to restrain other children.
- the child weighs 40 pounds or more and the vehicle is not equipped with both lap and shoulder belts.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill into law May 9.