More children must use car booster seats under a new state law. Gov. Nathan Deal has signed the bill, which is meant to reduce injuries.
Under the measure, nearly all children ages seven and under will now have to sit in booster seats while riding in a car in Georgia.
Previously, state law required only children under the age of six to use restraints.
Donna Hyland, president of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, says children in this age group often sustain injuries when they are in car accidents.
"Over the last four years we’ve been tracking what happens to six and seven-year-olds when they come in and they’ve been in a car accident, and what we’ve found is that 95 percent of the kids who were injured were injured because they were not properly restrained,” she said.
She added, “There was a hole in our laws protecting kids and it was the six and seven-year-olds who were not protected, and here at Children’s Healthcare, we see what happens [because of that].”
Deal signed the bill at Children’s Healthcare. The law will not apply to children who stand more than four feet, nine inches tall or who weigh 40 pounds.
It was one of the rare bills that had bipartisan support. Atlanta Democrat Kathy Ashe attended the bill-signing ceremony, saying the measure was sorely needed.
The law will not apply to children who stand more than four feet, nine inches tall or who weigh 40 pounds. It will go into effect on Jan. 1. That gives parents enough time to purchase booster seats if they need to.