Another new car safety law takes effect in Minnesota today. Children under 8 years old or under 4 feet 9 inches tall must now travel in car seats or booster seats.
Heather Darby is child passenger safety coordinator with the Department of Public Safety. She said the new booster seat requirement replaces the previous law that only required children under the age of four to ride in car seats.
Darby said the change reflects study results that show seat belts alone can do more harm than good on small children.
"We know more about crash dynamics than we did twenty, thirty years ago when the law was first made in Minnesota," Darby said. "It just makes sense to use the proper restraint."
Darby said parents should not rush their children into seat belts alone, even though they may be over eight years old. She said parents should keep kids in a booster based on their height rather than their age.
The booster seat change joins the new primary seat belt law that went into effect last month. That law gives police the right to stop motorists who aren't buckled up.