Arizona’s child seat belt law is about to change.
And parents need to be aware it’s fairly different from what Arizona has had in place for years.
Beginning Aug. 2, any child under 8 must be in a child restraint, most likely a booster seat.
Current law requires that children be in a safety seat — such as a car seat or booster seat — until age 5. After that, the law requires that they be in a seat belt.
But for several years, there has been a push to put a new measure of safety in place — one that’s already been adopted by several states across the country.
According to a release from Maricopa County’s Department of Health Services, use of the “belt-positioning booster seats” lowers the risk of injury to children — those 4 to 8 — by 45 percent vs. seat belts alone.
A booster seat helps place a seat belt at the hips, rather than at the waist. Safety officials say that reduces the risk of organ or spinal cord injury in a crash.
Violators can be fined $50, but may have the fee waived if a booster seat is purchased prior to a court date. Booster seats run about $20 at most retail locations.
For more information, see www.safekidsmaricopaaz.org/.
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