Local News

Drivers to Lose Points for Not Buckling Up Kids

Posted November 29, 2000

— Motorists need to pay attention to a new law taking effect Friday -- or they could pay a higher penalty. Those who do not buckle up children in their cars will be assessed two driver's license points.

The law, approved bylegislatorsthis summer, does not allow for insurance points that would increase violator's insurance rates. However, drivers who get 12 points on their license in three years can be forced to surrender their licenses.

A violation of the law used to carry a maximum fine of $25

The existing law requires children under 16 to be in a safety seat or buckled up with a seat belt. Children less than 5 years old and less than 40 pounds must be secured in an appropriate safety seat.

Police say most of the time child safety seats are not installed correctly.

"The seatbelts that hold the child safety seat in are usually too loose, they're not snug enough," says Officer David Frey of the Durham Police Department.

Some parents, like Sarah Vrolijk, think the law needs more publicity.

"In order for that to be a law, then there should be a requirement for people to do these kinds of things, so people would not be given a ticket without being given the opportunity,' she says of free safety seat checks.

Local police and agencies provide free car seat clinics to help parents make sure they seat sare installed correctly. To find one near you, contact your local police department or call N.C. Safe Kids at1-888-347-3737. From staff and wire reports

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