The Durango Herald recently published a piece that reveals new safety recommendations when it comes to securing child passengers into vehicles. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have come together and agreed upon two new safety suggestions.
For now, the safety measures are just suggestions. Colorado already has its own child restraint laws in effect. But this story gives us a chance to review what the current restraint laws are, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
- Children who are at least 1 and who weigh 20 pounds or more can sit in front-facing child restraint seats.
- Children between ages 1 and 3 and who weigh between 20 and 40 pounds must be in a child safety seat.
- Children between ages 4 and 7 must sit in a booster seat.
- Children between ages 8 and 15 must wear a seat belt.
The new recommendations differ from Colorado's current laws. Safety advocates suggest that kids stay in rear-facing seats until they turn two or become too big for their seats' size limits. The other recommended change is that kids be required to sit in booster seats until they are a certain height, four feet nine inches tall.
As mentioned earlier, the new safety recommendations are not law, but it wouldn't be surprising for lawmakers to consider making a change to child restraint laws. If you have children it is wise to stay up-to-date on such traffic safety laws.
Sure, you can drive without a seat belt and not get pulled over for that offense alone. If law enforcement notices that your kids are insufficiently restrained, however, that is a primary offense. You can be pulled over and cited for the traffic violation. Saying that you didn't know about the current child restraint laws likely won't be enough to save you from a ticket.
The Durango Herald: "New guidelines, extra enforcement target safety seats and seat belts," Steve Lewis, 1 Apr. 2011