WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board today praised Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and members of the state legislature for enacting booster seat legislation. The Ohio General Assembly passed the legislation in December and the Governor signed it yesterday.
The law mandates that children between the ages of four and eight and less than 4'9" use a booster seat in motor vehicles.
"We applaud the state of Ohio for taking this action that will save children's lives and keep them more secure," said NTSB Board Member Debbie Hersman. "Seat belts were not designed with our littlest passengers in mind and they can even cause them harm. Child safety seats and booster seats are necessary to properly restrain and protect children in a vehicle."
The NTSB also recognized the commitment of all of the members of the Ohio Booster Seat Coalition (www.boostohiokids.org - When you lick this link you will leave the NTSB Web site. ) for their hard work over many years to enact this important legislation.
"We hope that the remaining six states and three territories that have yet to adopt similar legislation in their jurisdictions will follow Ohio's lead in the coming months," said Member Hersman.
Improve Child Occupant Protection has been on the Safety Board's Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements since 1997. Specifically, the NTSB made the following recommendation to the states and territories regarding child occupant safety: ensure that children up to eight years old are required by each state's mandatory child restraint use law to use child restraint systems and booster seats.
With the addition of Ohio, now 44 states and the District of Columbia require the use of booster seats, although only 22 states (including Ohio) and the District of Columbia require their use through age 7, as the Board recommended. Only 6 states (Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, South Dakota and Texas), American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands lack any law requiring that children between the ages of four and eight years use booster seats.