Local News

Officials Hope To Clear Confusion Over New Child Seat Laws

Posted December 30, 2004 10:57 a.m. EST

— Experts claim car seats save lives, but state law regulating the safety restraints is more complicated.

Starting Saturday, the regulations get tougher, which are tricky for parents like Wanda Boyette and her son, Kyle.

"Kyle got out of his booster seat at 5. Now, he's got to get back into a booster seat," Boyette said.

The new law extends the requirements from five years old to eight years old and 40 pounds to 80 pounds, so any child caught in that gap will have to go back to the booster seat. Kyle Boyette clearly falls into that category. He is 7 years old and just 45 pounds. He said he does not like having to go back into the booster seat.

"I don't like it because I like sitting in a regular seat," he said.

The law said a child less than eight years old and 80 pounds needs a safety seat, many people are still confused about it.

"There is a lot of confusion, but there does not have to be. We want to make it very simple," said Cary police Officer Steve Wilkins.

If your children are 8 years old or weigh at least 80 pounds, they do not have to sit in a safety seat, but until they reach one of those requirements, they do have to use one.

"Once you're in second-grade, it's not cool to be in a car seat. We do a carpool for swimteam, and we're going to have three kids go back into booster seat and none of them are liking it a lot, but it's the safe thing to do," said Wanda Boyette.

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.