Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, predicts that the child car safety bill he introduced and Gov. Jerry Brown signed August 27 will save lives. Hill has hosted several child car seat safety check events in his district and observed firsthand that an alarming number of seats are not installed properly.
“Ninety percent of parents and caregivers believe they have installed child safety seats correctly when, in fact, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research show that seven out of 10 children are improperly restrained, putting them at risk for serious injury or death when they are in an car crash,” Hill said. “This bill will save lives.”
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of children 3 to 14 years of age. Many of these deaths can be prevented through the proper use of child safety seats. According to the NHTSA, child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers, 1 to 4 years of age.
Current law requires every public or private hospital, clinic, or birthing center, at the time of the discharge of a child, to provide and discuss information on the current law requiring child passenger restraint systems to the parents or the person to whom the child is released.
AB 1452, which takes effect Jan. 1, adds a requirement that parents be notified about where, and at no cost, the child passenger restraint system can be inspected and proper installation instruction can be given.
Hill introduced similar legislation (AB 2667) that was approved in 2010 by the Legislature, but vetoed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who maintained parents should take responsibility for the installation and use of child safety seats.
Certain fire stations and California Highway Patrol offices are among the agencies that provide free car safety inspections. To find the closest agency that conduct car seat safety checks visit: http://www.safekids.org/, then click “In Your Area.”