FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2007
AUSTIN -- The Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security on Wednesday (Feb. 7) unanimously recommended Senate passage of Senate Bill 60 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, which strengthens current child passenger safety protections. The bill requires that children younger than eight years, unless they are four-feet nine-inches in height, be secured properly while riding in a motor vehicle.
"Each year more than 1,600 children die in vehicular accidents," Senator Zaffirini said. "This is the leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death among children 14 and younger. SB 60 would save lives and would make certain our younger children are safe and secure while riding on Texas roads and highways."
Current law requires only children who are younger than five years of age and shorter than 36 inches be properly secured in child-passenger safety seats during the operation of a vehicle. Children between the ages of five and eight and who are between 36 and 57 inches represent an age group that is at great risk of death or severe injury due to the gap in current law.
SB 60 will eliminate this gap and strengthen current child passenger safety protections. It provides for a four-month temporary grace period to inform Texas drivers about the new measure.
"Unrestrained children are more likely to be injured, suffer more severe injuries and possibly die in motor vehicle accidents than children who are restrained," Senator Zaffirini said. "I am very pleased that the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee favorably and unanimously recommended my SB 60, and I look forward Senate passage. We anticipate a remarkable victory for child and public safety."