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Legislation Passed to Increase Child Safety in Vehicles 

KENTUCKY  (03/11/2015) – State Rep. Steve Riggs’ effort to make sure older children are properly secured while riding in a vehicle cleared a major hurdle this morning when the state Senate’s Transportation Committee unanimously approved his House Bill 315.

“I have worked to update our booster-seat requirements for several years now, so it means a lot to see the committee put its full support behind this initiative as well,” said Rep. Riggs, D-Louisville. “Adding the bill to that chamber’s consent calendar, where non-controversial legislation is often placed, is another positive sign that this is all but set to become law. Assuming that happens, it will undoubtedly save many young children’s lives and keep many other children from being needlessly injured.”

House Bill 315 passed the Kentucky House of Representatives late last month and is one of Gov. Beshear’s top legislative priorities. It calls for changing Kentucky’s outdated booster-seat requirements to reflect recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, engineers in the auto industry and many others.

Currently, Kentucky requires booster seats for children six and younger who are between 40 and 50 inches in height. House Bill 315 would change the age requirement to eight and younger and increase the height to 57 inches.

Joining Rep. Riggs today in the committee were Bill Bell, the executive director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety; and Lexington police officer Brandon Muravchick, who as an eight-year-old suffered significant internal injuries in an accident due in part to improper placement of a seat belt.

“It’s very important that the seatbelt fit properly,” said Officer Muravchick, who told the Senate committee that he has had 10 surgeries over the past 25 years because of his accident.

Rep. Riggs pointed out that 32 states, including all seven surrounding Kentucky, have already increased their booster-seat age and height limits to the levels recommended nationally. “It’s time for Kentucky to join that list, because we’re now advising parents to use booster seats improperly,” he said. “Fortunately, it appears that this is about to change because of House Bill 315.”

The full Senate is expected to vote on his legislation either today or when the General Assembly returns to complete its work on March 23rd and 24th.

Information provided by the Office of the Kentucky House Speaker
Posted by J.L. Graham
KenCo News