Now that School is back in session there are a few things that all drivers need to be reminded of to make sure everyone remains safe and secure both in and outside the car.
First, inside the car: Parents are now driving their kids back to school and it’s only a few blocks away and their kids are at the age when they can squirm and whine and all the stuff that gets under out adult skin, you know, “the seatbelt is too tight” or “the kids seat is for little kids” . Don’t give in, besides being the law it can save your child from a whole lot of hurt or maybe their life. Here are the current child seat laws for children from birth to 12 years old. Please note that the law has changed and it no longer goes by your child’s weight
(Information supplied by NHTSA 02-11Monday, March 21, 2011)
Birth – 12 months: Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
1 – 3 years: Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
4 – 7 years: Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
8 – 12 years: Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.
So now that we know how to ride in the car what about driving the car. SLOW DOWN!!!!
All schools have at least a 20 MPH speed limit, sometimes slower. As long as school is in session you should abide by this law. It is not a suggestion, it is the speed limit. The worst thing you would want to do is run over a child because you were unable to stop in time due to your speed. Observe all the crosswalks to and from the school. A child will run out in front of you even if the crossing guard is there. Stop for all school buses with blinking red lights-It’s the law!!!
And above all just be smart, if there are children involved take extra precautions.