A boost to safety

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Beginning Aug. 28 children ages 4 through 7 who weigh less than 80 pounds and are less than 4 feet, 9 inches tall must be strapped into a booster seat when riding in a vehicle in Missouri. That's the law.

Booster seats are necessary because the seat belts and shoulder restraints that protect adults don't adequately protect small children and can make injuries worse in a collision.

Some people complain about the inconvenience, especially for soccer moms and dads hauling around other parents' children. It's an inconvenient law.

The booster seat bill, supported by Gov. Matt Blunt, was passed unanimously by the Missouri Senate and won House approval 126-21. One incentive to pass the bill is the $850,000 in federal funding that will come to the state for education and law enforcement and to provide booster seats to poor families,

Police say they won't be carrying tape measures and scales to check on whether children in a stopped vehicle ought to be in booster seats. Right now it's possible to drive down any city street and see small children who ought to be in car seats or seat belts but instead are moving around in the vehicles.

This law protects children from parents acting irresponsibly. It's good for Missouri's children.

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