January 22, 2009 - Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Cincinnati
The National Transportation Safety Board today praised Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and members of the state legislature for enacting booster seat legislation earlier this month. The Ohio General Assembly passed the legislation in December and the Governor signed it into law on Tuesday, January 6, 2009.
The new law will require children over 4 years and over 40 pounds and up to 8 years old or 4'9" to be in a booster seat. The law will go into effect on April 6, 2009. Law enforcement will issue warnings only for the first 6 months. Full enforcement, including citations, will begin on or about November 6, 2009. Fines will range from $25 to a maximum of $75 per occurrence. The Director of Health is responsible for adapting rules to establish enforcement criteria for determining compliance.
"We applaud the state of Ohio for taking this action that will save children's lives and keep them more secure," said NTSB Board Member Debbie Hersman. "Seat belts were not designed with our littlest passengers in mind and they can even cause them harm. Child safety seats and booster seats are necessary to properly restrain and protect children in a vehicle."
The NTSB also recognized the commitment of all of the members of the Ohio Booster Seat Coalition (www.boostohiokids.org) for their hard work over many years to enact this important legislation.
"We hope that the remaining six states and three territories that have yet to adopt similar legislation in their jurisdictions will follow Ohio's lead in the coming months," said Member Hersman.
With the addition of Ohio, now 44 states and the District of Columbia require the use of booster seats, although only 22 states (including Ohio) and the District of Columbia require their use through age 7, as the Board recommended. Only 6 states (Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, South Dakota and Texas), American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands lack any law requiring that children between the ages of four and eight years use booster seats.
NTSB Media Contact: Bridget Serchak