Governor signs bill that changes car seat requirements for Oklahoma children

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Many Oklahoma parents are voicing their opinion on a bill that could change how their children are seated  in the car.

The author of the bill says the goal is to protect children.

“It’s just common sense, pro-life legislation to try to save the lives of children,” said Rep. Scott Inman, from Del City.

According to Safe Kids Coalition, more than 6,000 Oklahoma children were involved in crashes in our state last year.

Of those, 607 were seriously injured and 22 were killed.

Heartbreaking stories that, in some cases, may have had a different outcome had the child been in a car seat or booster seat.

“While we are required to buckle up, we aren’t required to buckle them up in a way that would save their lives,” Inman said.

It’s part of why Rep. Inman is working to change our state law.

His bill would require children to be in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2-years-old.

Under the bill, those under 4-years-old would be required to be in a forward facing car seat, and those younger than 8-years-old and less than 4’9″ tall would be required to be in a full car seat or booster seat.

“The adult seat belt is made for adults and they can’t protect children the way a booster seat can,” said Katie Mueller, with Safe Kids Coalition.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rear-facing car seats until age two, it’s never been law in Oklahoma.

The one issue some parents see is the booster seat requirement.

“A lot of the decisions we make as parents are unpopular. We just have to make the decision that safety comes above comfort or preference or popularity,” Mueller said.

Click here to read the full text of the  bill.

On June 5, Gov. Fallin signed House Bill 1847 into law.

The law goes into effect Nov. 1.

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