Safety Advocates: Much Work To Do Ensuring Child Safety in Vehicles
Child passengers face tangible dangers on American roadways, yet nearly every state has dangerous loopholes in child occupant protection statutes, safety advocates say.
This week marks Child Passenger Safety Week, and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety say much work remains to be done in terms of ensuring the safety of our most vulnerable passengers.
“This Child Passenger Safety Week, we urge lawmakers to get into the driver’s seat and advance proven highway safety laws,” said Cathy Chase, vice president of governmental affairs for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “It is critical that children are protected by strong laws that keep them in the back seat restrained by a child safety seat, booster seat, or safety belt, as appropriate for their age and size.”
Based on averages, more than 20 children will be killed and nearly 3,500 more will be injured in motor vehicle crashes this week, Chase said.
“It is critical that children are protected by strong laws that keep them in the back seat restrained by a child safety seat, booster seat, or safety belt, as appropriate for their age and size. Needless tragedies happening on our roads could be prevented if state legislatures enact these lifesaving laws,” she said.
Every year Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety publishes the Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws which rates all 50 states and D.C. on basic traffic safety laws.
The report highlights three critical elements of child passenger safety: keeping children in rear-facing child safety seats until age two, putting them in booster seats until they reach age eight and 57 inches in height, and requiring them to be buckled up once they have graduated out of safety seats.
Rhode Island is the only state to enact all three optimal child passenger safety laws.
“It is time for all the other states and D.C. to take swift action and enact laws to protect child passengers,” Chase said.
Motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of death for children. State laws ensuring proper child passenger protection will help prevent these tragic deaths and injuries, Chase said.