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Governor Jennifer Granholm says she'll sign legislation requiring all children who are both under age 8 and shorter than 4-foot-9 to be fastened into a booster seat.
Current Michigan law requires children under 4 to ride in a child restraint system.
The Legislature on Wednesday finished passing the bill and sent it to Granholm's desk.
Sponsors of the legislation say more than 90 percent of children between 4 and 8 years old who are seriously injured in auto accidents aren't restrained in a booster seat.
The law would take effect July 1. Violators will face fines and courts costs of up to $65 per offense.
An organization called Partners for Child Passenger Safety says that the risk of injury for children between the ages of 4 and 8 is reduced by 59 percent when using a car seat or booster seat.
Michigan will become the 39th state to adopt an expanded booster seat law.
Sen. Michelle McManus, a Republican from Lake Leelanau, has been working to pass the legislation for five years. She said older children often are less reluctant to get into booster seats once their role in safety is adequately explained.
Democrats in the state House sponsored similar legislation.
Also Thursday, Granholm called on the Legislature to pass bills she said would allow the state to get federal money to give booster seats away to more low-income families. There already are some programs available in Michigan to provide booster seats to those most in need.
For more information about Senate Bill 82, the booster seat bill, visit Michigan Votes and type in the appropriate bill number in the search engine. Or try searching the Michigan Legislature web page.
For the full article, see "Gov. to sign bill putting more children in safety seats", Lansing State Journal Midday update, March 19, 2008.
For another, see Christine Rook, "A boost to safety: Michigan set to adopt law requiring booster seats for small kids under 8", Lansing State Journal, March 22, 2008.
For another, see Chris Christoff, "Too old for booster seat? State says no; New law puts kids up to 7 in safety restraint", Detroit Free Press, March 26, 2008.
For another, see AP, "Granholm signs bill putting more children in safety seats", San Francisco Examiner, March 27, 2008.
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