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Bill requiring booster seats for kids under the age of 8 clears its first stop

By Sascha Cordner

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-992043.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Florida law currently requires a booster seat for children under the age of 4. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, a bill passed unanimously out of a Senate Committee would boost the age requirement to kids up to the age of 7.

Republican Senator Thad Altman of Viera presented his bill before the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday that would make it mandatory for kids under the age of 8 to sit in booster seat while riding in a car.

"It's to protect what's becoming to be known as the forgotten children. Children ages four through 7 can be legally put into a vehicle and an adult seat belt. The adult seat belts are not built to protect children from 4 to 7, especially if they're less than 4-feet-9 inches tall."

Altman says over the last 10 years, about 200 children have been killed as a result of not being in a booster seat and close to 2-thousand children have been injured and hospitalized. Offenders would face 60 dollars fine and three points against their driver's license. But, if first-time offenders can prove they purchased a booster seat, the ticket will be waived.