Governor signs Evans’ bill to boost child car safety

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Contact:  Tom Roth | 707.576.2771

Senator Evans’ SB 929 Raises Booster Seat Age to 8

Sacramento – Governor Jerry Brown signed today legislation by Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) that experts say will save lives and prevent injuries to our most precious passengers – our children.

“SB 929 will save children’s lives and reduce injuries to children when they are involved in vehicular accidents,” said Evans. “It requires that children under 8-years old remain in booster seats, unless they are 4 foot 9 inches tall.”

Senator Evans first worked on updating the safety standards in 2006, but even though her bill passed in both houses of the Legislature, it was vetoed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Car collisions are the leading cause of death and acquired disability in children between ages 4 and 8, and it has been proven that booster seats save the lives of children by reducing their risk of vehicle accident related injury and fatality by 60 percent.

Senator Evans’ SB 929 implements the recommendations of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to keep kids in booster seats until they are 8 years old or are 4’9” or taller. This view is shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“Parents won’t need to purchase a new booster seat when this law passes,” said Evans, “but merely keep their children in their existing seats two years longer. And, if they should need a new booster seat, they are usually a small investment between $15 and $45 with a huge benefit towards protecting children in case of an auto accident.”

California was the first state in the nation to implement a child booster seat law, but the state’s most recent booster seat age requirement of up to 6 years is below the standards of 38 other states, the District of Columbia and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The change in law is supported by first responders, child safety advocates, and insurance companies. Safe Kids California, the California Alliance of YMCAs, and the California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health are co-sponsors of the bill.

State Senator Noreen Evans represents the Second Senatorial District, including all or portions of the Counties of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma. Senator Evans Chairs the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Committee on Judiciary.