‘Boost’ to State Child Passenger Safety Law Takes Effect Next Week
Each year, hundreds of children are injured or killed on Arizona’s roadways as a result of improper use of a safety seat, or no use of a safety seat at all. On Aug. 2, an updated state law took effect, marking a milestone in the longstanding fight to better protect Arizona’s most precious cargo.
Arizona’s new booster seat provision will require children younger than 8 years old or less than 4 feet, 9 inches tall to sit in a proper child safety seat, such as a booster seat, when riding in a vehicle.
“By updating its child passenger safety law to include booster seats, Arizona is now providing parents and caregivers with guidance that offers the best protection possible for a child in the event of a crash,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “Without question, this updated law will save lives.”
Prior to the enactment of this amended law, Arizona law permitted parents to transition children from a child safety seat to an adult safety belt at the age 5, despite overwhelming research that has proven these children aren’t properly protected. This made Arizona one of only three states without a law protecting children who are too big for a traditional car seat, but too small to be safely restrained by an adult safety belt alone.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the proper use of a safety seat can reduce a child’s fatality risk by up to 71 percent. In Arizona in 2010, all of the 5– to 8–year-olds who were killed in car crashes died because they were not properly restrained.
Several state and nationwide agencies supported this measure, introduced by Rep. Nancy McLain (R), as it made its way through the legislature and to Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk for approval.
Violation of the amended law is a primary offense and carries a fine of $50. Booster seats cost about $20.
AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com.