Traffic Watch: Children and Seatbelts

by Joanna Baker

Laws on buckling up your kids have changed. As of September 1, 2001, children under four years of age or under three feet tall must be placed in a child safety seat.

Department of Public Safety officials say, with more vehicles on the roads and higher speed limits, it's important to take extra precautions when it comes to your children. Lufkin pediatrician Jeffrey Glass says he has seen countless children with injuries from car crashes, injuries that could have been prevented if the children has been properly restrained.

Other new passenger safety laws require children four to 16 years old to use a seatbelt, no matter where they are seated in the vehicle. All seat belt laws now apply to trucks, even one-ton pickups. The minimum fine for car seat violations has increased from $25 to $100.