WASHINGTON:  New year brings new car seat law

WASHINGTON: New year brings new car seat law

Walla Walla police are reminding parents about upcoming changes to the child restraint law.

Chief Scott Bieber said starting January 1, 2020, the revised car seat law will require that children up to age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.

Children ages 2-4 must be properly secured in a car seat with a harness which is either rear- or forward-facing.

Children 4 and older and less than four feet nine inches tall must be secured in a booster seat with a seat belt or continue to sit an in harness seat.

“The whole idea with the booster seat is to get that shoulder harness on the correct portion of the child’s body,” Bieber said.

Children over four feet nine inches tall must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt, typically starting at 8 to 12 years old.

Children up to age 13 must ride in the back seat when practical to do so.

Each child restraint system must comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation standards and be used as directed by the vehicle and child restraint manufacturer.

Bieber acknowledged that car seats can be very confusing, resulting in significant misuse and encourages parents to have their car seats inspected. To find the nearest location, visit www.safercar.gov/parents. Parents can also find additional information at www.wacarseats.com.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, car crashes are the leading killers of children ages 1 to 13.