Local News

More Kids Buckled Up For Safety In N.C.

Posted January 3, 2005

— According to a new booster seat law in North Carolina, children who are less than 8 years old and less than 80 pounds will be required to use a child restraint system while traveling in the car.

The new law is a change from the previous requirement of kids under 5 years old and less than 40 pounds. The goal is to make sure the child sits high enough so the seatbelt hits them across the chest, not the neck.

The new law may be a problem for some kids who were used to being a regular seat.

"It is going to be a challenge. It is going to have to be dealt with. Hopefully, they can get the child reconditioned and back in the booster seats," said Sgt. Everett Clendenin, of the state Highway Patrol.

Leo Ascenzi is nearly seven, but weighs just 47 pounds. His mother hopes to keep him in a booster seat as long as she can.

"We were in a car accident last year and we were very glad they were in their booster seats because I was hurt. My husband and I both had whiplash. The kids were fine. He slept through it," said Allison Ascenzi, Leo's mother.

"What we're hoping to see from this is fewer children dying from automobile collisions in North Carolina," Clendenin said.

There may be some arguments with older children who do not want to return to the seat, but parents say having the law on their side helps them negotiate not only with kids, but with other parents who may take their children places.

Cary officers say they will use discretion enforcing the law in the first few months. If you are ticketed, you will face a $25 fine, but you can get it dropped if you go to court and prove you have the proper seat.


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