Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A booster no matter what

Minnesota has a law that I do not agree with. One that involves my kids and their safety.

Right now, once a child reaches age 4 they are no longer required to ride in a booster seat. It doesn't matter how tall they are, or how much they weigh. Age 4 they are done by law.

Boo is 7 and still rides in a booster seat. I don't care what the law says, she will ride in one until I feel she is big enough to not.

I pass the booster seat from car to car no matter who she is going with. When my Dad picked Boo up yesterday to go to his house, her booster went with her, and he will bring it with to Big Sis' house tomorrow.

Wisconsin has a stricter law in place for car seats, one that causes problems for some people when they go to our cabin. Until the age of 4 a child must be a car seat, and then a booster until they reach age 8.

There is now a bill on the Senate Floor that will require children under age 8 who is shorter than 4 feet 9 inches to ride in a booster seat, or some form of child restraint seat.

A fine would be in place, and would be waived if proof is shown in two weeks of a purchased booster seat. There are exceptions for medical needs and other justifiable reasons.

But there are opponents to this bill. I am shocked by this.

"Imagine if you're a mom and you want to bring home the kids after a baseball game," said Ortman, R-Chanhassen. "You've got to have four booster seats."

My thought on this quote, you get four car seats, or have the parents provide them as they should be doing.

There were many stories of people who testified, one speaking about her 7 year old daughters spinal injury. Her daughter was not in a booster, and had the seat belt behind her. Had she been in a booster seat she wouldn't have been as injured.

Yes, a parent should be able to make these choices for their family. But so many parents are not. I had a mom drop her child off at my house and walk away. I called her back asking for her child's booster seat. She didn't have one. I told her she would have to pick her daughter up, I wouldn't not drive her child without one.

It isn't just my child that is at risk. Any child in my car that is without a booster seat is at risk. I don't worry about my driving, but everyone else on the road.

There are 44 other states that have this proposed law in place, many of them being neighbors to Minnesota (North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. Iowa's laws a even stricter than Wisconsin). Plus, federal transportation officials are offering an incentive to states that enact the new laws.

If you live in Minnesota, write or call your Senator. I already did. I told him to vote to


Anonymous said...

My state, Illinois, has the strict laws. My kids are so use to being buckled up and in their boosters that seriously... if I start my car (i.e. to warm it up) before everyone is all set, they will start screaming! It's as if they think the car will explode if they're not all ready.

Anonymous said...

BTW, That's one of my biggest pet peeves, is kids not in seatbelts. That's one of the few things that will make me take out my cell phone and call the cops.

AmyG said...

(HI! I'm popping over from Boogers & Burps)

I live in North Carolina. Here, the kids have to be 8 yrs old or 80 pounds before not having to ride in a booster. For a month or so, after my daugther was 6, I didn't use the booster, but felt so guilty, I brought it back. She's never complained about having to use it. She just turned 7 in January, so she'll be in a booster for another year, but if the seat belt still doesn't fit her well, she may be in it a little longer.

I hope your bill gets passed!

Jenna said...

I don't know the state laws about booster seats or car seats here. They don't matter so much right now. My 17-month-old and three-year-old will be using them for years to come. My oldest, who will be 13 in less than a month, still has to ride in the back seat because of airbags. I'm sure she'd be ok, at 5'4" 180#, but I don't need to take chances.

Kristin said...

We have that law here in NC. It's 8 yrs old or 80 pounds, whichever comes first. (thankfully, because my kids own't be 80lbs till they are about 20) It is a pain sometimes. And the kids hate it. But I'm glad it's a law!