Not so fast 5-year-olds, booster seats could stay

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Parents, do not throw out that booster seat just yet. "I don't know who invented this, but this is the best thing, this is the greatest thing, when I'm driving with my grandbaby and I know he's locked down, I feel better." Shrondia Davis, Kid Kountry Too teacher.

The bill is now in the hands of governor Rick Perry awaiting his signature. One dad said the extended booster seat rules are a good idea. "You know how kids are, they like to get loose, and I think it's better to hold them down when they get aggravated or mad or want to cause fits,"said Isiah Menefee, parent.

Menefee's kids are 3 and 4. He says he doesn't mind making them ride in a booster seat a few years longer. "Yeah, they big, but I still feel like that's a good idea."

The new rules would mean if your child is under 8 years old or under 4 feet and nine inches tall they will be required to stay strapped in. "Some people were thinking, well if my child is 9 or 10 years old and he's not very tall then he's still going to have to wear it, well that's not the case," said Greg Sanches, Lufkin Department of Public Safety spokesperson.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, those not properly restrained are more likely to get to get thrown from the vehicle. "Anybody that is thrown out of a vehicle, they're 25 times more likely to die," said Sanches.

Safety officials said seat belts are made for adults and do not properly restrain kids. Booster seats insure kids are safe and snug. "It's a perfect fit on him," said Davis as she strapped in a child.

"If there was a hit on the van or whatever it will hold them, you know and it just wouldn't throw them forward," said Davis.

The change would take effect June 1, parents have a year until fines would be handed-out. After that the fine would be 25 dollars.