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?
By Becky Scott