Proposed car seat law could be coming to East Texas

Proposed car seat law could be coming to East Texas

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Many parents already face their child backwards in car seats. The law does not require it, but a change in the law could make it a requirement for children under two years old.

House Bill 955, introduced by Democrat Chris Turner from the Dallas area would make it a requirement for any child under the age of two to face backwards while in a car seat.

House Bill 955 would require parents to face children under the age of two backwards, which differs from the current law.

"Right now, the child must be retrained in an approved child safety system and that translates into a seat that is suitable for that child at that point of their life stage they are in," DPS Spokesman David Hendry said.

Medical experts say keeping a child facing backwards is safer because the spinal column of an infant is not as developed.

"With the new legislation it can only help protect more infants from more serious car wrecks," Child Birth Educator Roxanne Handel said.

Handel said in her experience it may seem like a hassle to face a child backwards but it is the best thing to do.

"It helps protects the infants and toddlers from severe crashes that can result in spinal cord injuries and brain damage," Handel said.

Trooper Hendry stressed that as of now, either forward facing or rear facing car seats are acceptable. Hendry said the main focus for law enforcement is that the seat is properly installed for the child.

"A large amount of the car seats are installed improperly, so installation is extremely important for the safety of the child," Hendry said.

Hendry added that DPS and TXDOT will assist parents with any questions regarding a car seat.

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