Booster Seat Bill Clears House Committee

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A long-discussed proposal to require people to strap young children into booster seats when riding in vehicles cleared a House panel Thursday.

Similar measures have passed the House before but were stymied in the Senate.

The bill that won approval Thursday from the House Health and Welfare Committee would require that any child under the age of 8 who is between 40 inches and 57 inches tall and weighs less than 80 pounds be placed in a booster seat.

Violators would face a $50 fine.

Supporters called it an important safety measure that's long overdue.

"If we don't get parents to think this way, they will not do it," said committee chairman Tom Burch, D-Louisville.

An opponent balked at making it a requirement to strap in children.

"I fully support using booster seats and child restraint systems, but that doesn't mean I have to make everybody else do it," said Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown.

Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said in an interview that Senate leaders would be more open to the legislation than in years past.

"We're looking at the most recent studies from the National Transportation Safety Board," he said. "There have been some recent studies that indicate that even an improperly installed booster seat is better than no booster seat."

The legislation is House Bill 53.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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