Tennessee Booster Seat Law Takes Effect July 1

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

Trooper Bill Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol says, "They are the adult. They need to act like the adult and they need to provide the safety and security for the child. That is the number one rule in Tennessee and we're gonna enforce it."

The law went into effect last July and any drivers were warned that they'd have until July 2004 to make the proper changes.

Trooper Miller says, "It will take effect midnight on the first. All drivers are required to have children restrained properly in a seat that does meet federal safety guidelines."

Some travelers like the law.

Ronnie Helm is passing through from Pennsylvania. He says, "I think it’s a good idea that kids can ride in vehicles and be able to stay safe."

Kela Miller is passing through from Indiana. She says, "It’s a very good decision because kids will be safer and it just takes a little effort."

But for other out of state drivers going through Tennessee, it's a hassle.

Butch says, "I think the parents should make the decision because when I grew up, I rode on the dang floorboard."

Some problems with the booster seat law are older cars do not have the shoulder harnesses that booster seats require. And most booster seats are designed to only hold up to 100 lbs., so another problem would be trying to get kids that weigh more into a seat.

Trooper Miller says, "There are safety seats that are designed for children that are heavier in stature. It is up to the parent to find the correct seat that fits their child."

Tennessee is one of seven states with the strict booster seat laws. Along with seventeen other states, Kentucky falls into a much more moderate age requirement for child booster seats.

The maximum fine for the first offense is $50. For more information on the new law call the Tennessee Child Passenger Safety Center at (423)392-8036.

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