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New California booster law to take effect

Under new laws, children under the age of 8 must be properly buckled into a booster seat and put in the back seat.
December 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Many new laws take effect on Jan. 1 in California, but one in particular hopes to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.

Starting on Sunday children under the age of 8 years old, or under 4 feet 9 inches tall, must be properly buckled into a car or booster seat, and put in the back seat.

Also, children who are 8 years old or older and not tall enough for the seat belt to fit properly must ride in a booster or car seat.

According to the California Office of Child Safety, a child fits an adult seat belt when:

  • They can sit against the vehicle seat back with their knees bent without slouching and can comfortably stay in this position throughout the trip.
  • The lap belt is low on the hips touching the upper thighs and the shoulder belt crosses the chest, but is not on the face or neck.
  • Never let your child put the shoulder belt behind their arm or back. In a crash, the child could sustain major injuries including head and spinal cord injuries.
  • If the child is putting the shoulder belt behind them, this is a sign that they still need a booster.
  • Previously, the law required that children remain in a booster seat until the age of 6 or weighed 60 pounds.


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