Calif. Governor Gray Davis signed a bill into law on Sept. 25 that will raise the bar for child safety in California. SB 567 (Speier, D-Daly City) will require children up to six years old or 60 pounds to ride in car seats, booster seats or any other restraint system approved by the federal government.
Current California law requires infants and toddlers to ride in car seats until they are four years old or 40 pounds. In a statement,
Davis said: “Standard safety belts were not designed for small children. This bill provides an added measure of protection. It will save lives.”
To enforce the requirement, fines for violation will increase from $50 to $100 for first-time offenders and $100 to $250 for subsequent violations. Fines may be waived for families in financial difficulty. The new law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2002, allowing parents time to learn about and prepare for the new requirement.
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