National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC - Child passenger safety laws in 21 states and two U.S. territories still do not meet the safety recommendations issued by the National Transportation Safety Board. Since 1996, the NTSB has called for state child restraint laws to cover all children up to 8 years old.
"While we heartily applaud the eight states that enacted or upgraded child restraint laws in the past year," said Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman, "21 states and two territories still lack robust booster seat laws. This means that millions of children remain at risk of injury or fatality every day on our highways."
Florida, with the most lenient child passenger safety law in the nation, only requires child safety seats for children age 3 years or younger. The laws in Arizona, South Dakota, American Samoa and Puerto Rico are only slightly more protective, covering children age 4 years or younger. Twelve states (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and South Carolina) mandate child restraints for children age 5 or younger and six states (Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, and North Dakota) only cover children age 6 or younger.
"We call upon the legislatures of these 21 states and two territories to pass more robust booster seat laws in 2011 that meet the NTSB recommendations. This action is critical if we are serious about keeping our youngest travelers safe on the roadways," continued Chairman Hersman.
As part of the NTSB's efforts to highlight the child passenger safety issue, a one-day public forum titled "Child Passenger Safety in the Air and in Automobiles" has been scheduled for December 9, 2010, and will take place at the NTSB's Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, D.C. For more information on the forum, please visit: www.ntsb.gov/children.
Improve Child Occupant Protection has been on the Safety Board's Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements since 1997. Within the last year Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas enacted or upgraded their booster seat laws by mandating their use up to age 8, as the Board has recommended.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.