Kupchick, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital push for expanded child car seat standards

To greater protect the children in our state, State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) today testified in front of the Transportation committee on her proposal to expand and update the requirements for child restraint systems in motor vehicles.

The legislation, House Bill 6956: An Act Concerning the Use of Child Restraint Systems expands the existing statute requiring child restraint systems in motor vehicles. It looks to amend and update the existing law and raise the age.

“With new and updated child safety restraint systems research, the goal of this legislation is to better protect children. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend a child remain in a “rear facing” child seat until a minimum of 2 years old but recommend going even further and keeping the child rear facing until the child reaches the height and weight limits of the seat in use. The proposed changes are backed by research and statistics,” said Rep. Kupchick.

Rep. Brenda Kupchick testified with Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Pina Violano, Manager for Injury Prevention, Community Outreach, and Research and Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Community Outreach & Child Passenger Safety Instructor Nick Aysseh.

Both Violano and Aysseh testified that there is overwhelming supporting literature demonstrating that use of a proper Child Safety Restraint Systems can reduce injuries and fatalities of children being transported in motor vehicles by recommending that children ride rear facing until at least age 2.

According to Pina Violano, “Connecticut has been a model state for other highway safety initiatives. This bill before you is a natural next step that puts our state at the forefront of a very important movement to ensure the safety of our young children being transported in motor vehicles on our roadways.”

All three testified that the Transportation committee maintains the current law which requires child seat violators to attend a Department of Motor Vehicles sponsored course on child passenger safety which educates/re-educates violators on how to properly secure and transport children in motor vehicles.

According to Aysseh, the violator’s class has a tremendous positive impact on participants once they attend and is effective.

Current CT General Statute 14-100a Seat Safety Belts. Child Restraint Systems spells out the current law. Sub Section (d) of the law spells out the current child restraint system provisions of the law. Currently the law requires children to remain rear facing only until they are 1 year old and 20 pounds which is too young. The current law is vague on what type of restraint must be used until the child exceeds the age of 6 years old (becomes 7) or 60 pounds. New Jersey, Oklahoma and California have updated their laws to require rear facing to 2 years old but New Jersey is the best example as they specify and define the types of restraints to be used through the age of 8.

Pina Violano, Brenda Kupchick, Nick Aysseh

Pina Violano, Brenda Kupchick, Nick Aysseh

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