Michigan lawmakers made strides at passing a bill that would update the child safety seat laws. One of the most discussed pieces of the bill, which was passed by the Michigan senate, focused on rear-facing car seat rules. If the bill becomes law, children under two-years-old and children less than thirty pounds if older than two-years-old will be required to be positioned rear-facing in vehicles on Michigan roads.
On Thursday, the Michigan Senate sent the legislation to the House. The bill updates legal child safety seat requirements to be more consistent with those recommended by pediatricians and the federal government, according to WILX News.
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The Michigan State Police have the current Michigan child safety seat laws on their website.
Children younger than age 4 to ride in a car seat in the rear seat if the vehicle has a rear seat. If all available rear seats are occupied by children under 4, then a child under 4 may ride in a car seat in the front seat. A child in a rear-facing car seat may only ride in the front seat if the airbag is turned off.
Children to be properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.
The current child safety seat bill, now in the House, was approved 36-1 by the Michigan Senate.
The bill would also change the child safety seat rules for older children. Children less than five-years-old will be required to sit in a car seat, rather than a booster seat. It also will require that drivers secure all children over five-years-old but younger than ten-years-old, but not lighter than 50 pounds nor shorter than four-feet-nine-inches tall in a booster seat. This new requirements add a weight minimum and extends the booster seat graduation age out to age ten, according to the text of the bill which was sent to the House for approval.
“We have to do all that we can to give parents the best information and the most up-to-date information on the safety of their kids while traveling in a vehicle,” said State Senator John Proos, the child safety seat bill’s sponsor, according to CBS. Proos believes it will easily pass in the Michigan House and hopes to see the bill signed by Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder before the end of the year.
In another victory for car seat safety advocates, the Michigan Senate unanimously passed a bill and sent it to the House on Thursday which would legally permit health care workers to refer patients to child safety seat inspectors if they believe that the child safety seat might not be installed properly. That bill, according to CBS, would also protect child safety seat technicians from civil and criminal liability as long as their recommendations are in good faith and aligned with their training.
The bill provides for a medical exemption for children who are medically unable to wear safety belts or use child safety seats. The child safety seat law proposed and passed by the Michigan Senate would not apply to mopeds, motorcycles, buses, taxicabs or vehicles made before 1965.
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