Booster Seats Required Until Age Eight

By: Lisa Ferrari Email
By: Lisa Ferrari Email

March 21, 2007

Parents don't toss out the booster seat just yet. You may need those for a couple more years.

The governor signed a new law that increases the age children are required to use a booster seat from six to eight.

For many, it’s a question of safety versus convenience. Parents we talked to with many kids wondered whether they'd have to get a bigger car to fit all the seats, but in the end, everyone wants their kids to be safe.

“The biggest thing you should be worried about when you are traveling is the safety of that child,” said Grandmother Mary Douglas.

Starting July 1st, no matter what size or weight your child is, if they are under eight they will be required to ride in a booster seat while traveling in Virginia.

Douglas said that is fine by her. She already keeps her nine year old grand-daughter belted in.

“Even though she's nine she is still not at that body weight where for me it’s comfortable having her sit with a regular seat belt. I'd rather be safe than sorry,” said Douglas.

Grandmother Elizabeth Scarbrough would also rather be safe than sorry, but said it'll be a tight squeeze.

“My oldest granddaughter, she is nine and I see how a booster seat is really safe for them, but yet when I had them Sunday I could not have gotten three in my car,” said Scarbrough.

The booster positions a child so that the lap and shoulder belts fit the child more like they fit an adult. “Which is necessary to keep those folks secured in the vehicle so they don't wind up being injured in those car crashes,” said Charlottesville Police Lt. Ronnie Roberts.

Charlottesville Police said with this law drivers don't have to be violating another infraction to be pulled over and they will face a $50 fine. Grandmothers said its okay if it will save lives.

“Instead of having her flying to the front of the car I’d rather her be secured so I can feel good when I am driving the car,” said Douglas.

The only exception will be with a doctor’s note. That note must state the physical reason for not using the seat and must be in the car with the child.

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