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State Tightens Rules For Kids, Car Seats

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Under the old law booster seats were only required up to 5 years old, but research shows that's not adequate. Under the old law booster seats were only required up to 5 years old, but research shows that's not adequate.
A new law goes into effect November 1 and requires all kids eight and younger to be in some kind of car or booster seat. A new law goes into effect November 1 and requires all kids eight and younger to be in some kind of car or booster seat.
Child Passenger Safety Coordinator, Jenny Rollins. Child Passenger Safety Coordinator, Jenny Rollins.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

A leading cause of death for children in Oklahoma is dying in car crashes. That's why the state is tightening the rules for kids and their car seats.

A new law goes into effect November 1 and requires all kids eight and younger to be in some kind of car or booster seat.

When Tulsa mom Rebecca Thompson is driving, even her oldest son sits in a booster seat.

"He had been out of it for a little bit, and we pulled it back out of the garage. He wasn't too happy about it. However, we explained to him why it's important," she said.

Click here for a list of safety seat checkups

And both of Kyle Mackin's little girls are still using car seats.

"Avery is in a forward-facing seat, and Ella, I think when Ella turned four we put her in a booster seat," he said.

Both parents are already following the state's new child passenger safety law.

Starting November 1, all children under 2 years old must be in a rear-facing car seat. Kids 2 to 4 can use a front-facing seat. And children over 4, before their 8th birthday or shorter than 4-foot-9, must be in some kind of car or booster seat.

Under the old law booster seats were only required up to 5 years old, but research shows that's not adequate.

Child Passenger Safety Coordinator, Jenny Rollins, said, "The seat belts are made for adults. With an adult seat belt, the strap sits on our hips, on our strong hip bones. On a child, that lap belt sits up on their stomach, so, if you're in a crash, that's going to put a lot of pressure where we have a lot of internal organs."

According to the Oklahoma Child Death Review Board, 69 children died in traffic-related deaths last year. Nearly half were not properly restrained with seat belts or car seats.

It's the leading cause of death for kids in our state.

Rollins said, "More so than any disease, any sickness, anything else. Car crashes are the number-one killer."

Starting November 1, law enforcement will be able to pull you over and ticket you for not complying with the new car seat law.

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