Booster Seat Law Gets a Boost

Booster Seat Law Gets a Boost
By: CJ Cassidy

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO --More than 100 new laws go into effect in the Show Me State starting Monday, but one's gaining quite a bit of attention; a law that mandates children need to ride in booster seats until they're 8-years old.

Most people agree the law was designed with the best of intentions, to save lives and protect young children. Still, many parents have questions about how the law will be enforced, and more importantly, how they're going to get their older kids back into booster seats.

Lora Stuthers keeps a protective watch over her daughter at the park. She says keeping her child safe is her number one priority, and agrees the new law will probably help save lives.

"They are nice, safety features for the most part,' she says.
But Stuthers and other parents have their reservations, too.
"It's a lot of hassle for parents to keep eye on the road and pay attention to the road when their kids are crawling out of booster seats," Stuthers says.
The law calls for children to sit on a booster until they turn eight, weigh 80-pounds or stand 4' 9" tall.
The old law only required children to be on booster seats up to age four.
"You have an idea of what eighty pounds is, but there are tall kids, and slender kids and I don't see how police are going to enforce the weight limit unless they carry scales with them," Stuthers points out. Her daughter's eight so she needn't worry anymore, but Stacey Hicks who has a five year old, does worry.
"I think it's going to be hard to get children back into car seats that haven't been there," she says.
But officers point out children may find booster seats interesting, considering choices now range from traditional, inexpensive models to newer designs that appear to have evolved from car seats.
And when we asked a seven year old about her feelings on getting into a booster seat, she says it will be strange, but she'll get used to it!
Medical experts say when compared with seat belts, booster seats help cut down on the seriousness of injuries children could receive in an accident.
Drivers can be fined up to $50 if children aren't buckled in properly.
So far, no word on whether police will actually carry around scales and rulers to measure the weight and height of children.