Bill passed to enhance vehicle safety measures for children

5459a1fd26cd2.imageA new bill was passed the legislature and signed by governor Mary Fallin to protect Oklahoma children in car accidents.

House Bill 1847 by Senate Democratic Leader Randy Bass and House Democratic Leader Scott Inman was created to increase the safety of children while in car accidents. The House Bill 1847 requires “children under the age of 2 to be in a secure car seat facing the back of the car, and children 2 to 8 years of age or until they reach the height of 4’9 to have a booster seat,” Bass said.

“We are trying to make it safer for the children, people don’t realize that cars are built for adults,” he said.

The House Bill 1847 was made based on statistics from American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Bass said. He explained how children under the age of two have a 75 percent greater chance of injuries or death when facing forward during a car accident.

“When you look at the statistics, children under the age of 2 are safer when the car seat is facing backwards,” he said. “In 2013, 26 children died in Oklahoma because they were not properly secured.”

A $50 fine will be given to drivers that do not follow these regulations. The fine is not very high, and this is because it is not meant to punish but rather protect Oklahoma children, Bass said.

“The fine is not meant to punish anyone, it is there to let you know that the child is not safe, he said. “We want your children to be safe.”

Bass explained that there was some difficulty passing this bill, mainly due to concerns about the driver not being able to see the child while driving.

“We struggled at the Senate because parents wanted to be able to see a child,” he said.

However, Bass said he hopes that people will understand the importance of this bill. He said he believes that the bill improves Oklahoma safety laws and will save the lives of many children.

“I hope they understand….I hope this bill catches on,” he said. “We just truly believe that lives will be saved, no question about it.”

Source: The Oklahoma Daily