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Maryland May Raise Carseat Age to Eight; Should Cars Include Built-In Harnesses?

Published May 7th 2008, 5:45pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

539486774_6619474346 Maryland may require children to be in car seats an extra two years under a bill put in front of the state House and Senate. Currently the law requires a booster up to age six. The new law would extend it to eight years.

The bill follows national recommendations about how old kids should be before going without a booster seat. Maryland was first in the Mid-Atlantic to pass a booster seat law, but the bill’s sponsor says they are now among those with the weakest laws.

This raises an interesting question. How old should children be before they can sit in a car without a booster? Is eight old enough? What about an unusually tall child — should he or she still use a booster?

Better yet, why aren’t car manufacturers making adjustable 5-point belts in the back of a vehicle so boosters aren’t even necessary? I wonder if an SUV or van with additional safety features like that would sell better to families?

As a mom, I would probably consider that first as I look for a new vehicle. In fact, my car is almost 10 years old, paid off, and a bit too small for us (tall husband, short car). So I will probably be looking within the next year. And of course, with a small child to think about, I’ll be carefully considering safety features in my next vehicle.

What about you? How important are safety features in a vehicle? What do you look for? Will the ease of getting car seats in and out make a difference to you?

Photo by ninjapoodles licensed under Creative Commons.

Becky_headshot_2 By Becky Scott
Contributing Editor

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