Local News

House Subcommittee Approves Proposed Change In Child-Restraint Laws

Posted June 23, 2004 3:16 a.m. EDT

— Another house subcommittee has signed off on a proposed change in child-restraint laws.

The bill approved Wednesday would require all children under 8 years old and less than 80 pounds to use safety seats when traveling in a car. That almost doubles the limits of the current law.

The bill was passed unanimously by the Child, Youth and Families Health Committee.

State law now requires motorists to place kids younger than 5 years old and weighing less than 40 pounds in child-restraint seats.

The new measure attempts to bring North Carolina in line with at least 25 other states that have expanded age and weight requirements for child safety seats since 2001.

The Senate passed the measure three weeks ago.

"We're a little late in the game here," said Tom Vitaglione, a co-chairman of the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, which recommended the restrictions.

Both bills now go before the full house.