Are You Cheating The New Booster Law?
The California Booster Seat Law became effective in 2012. As of January 1, 2012 children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster in the back seat.
Not only is this in California, but 47 states require this!
The basics of the law: Parents, guardians or drivers cannot transport children under 8 on a highway in a motor vehicle without them being secured in a child restraint system. (Must meet federal motor vehicle standards)
This is primarily due to the fact that seat belts are made for adults. Seat belts do not fit children properly unless they are 4’9″ tall. Many 6 and 7-year-old kids are upset because it means they have to be back in a booster.
The exception: If your child is under 8 but 4’9″ or taller they may use a seat belt.
This is a big risk to take when your child is too big for a child car seat but too small to be protected by a seat belt. It is unsafe because the seat belt usually lands across the neck.
With a booster, the child is raised up. This allows the belt to buckle across their upper thighs, rather than their stomach, and the should strap lays across their shoulder and chest. If your child’s seat belt crosses their neck or face this is not the proper, safe way to harness and can be very dangerous.
Here’s a video from MN, but applies to most other states.