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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: October 13, 2015 04:59 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Harold A. English
To: All House members
Subject: Child Safety Restraints in All Truck Classifications
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation so that infants and children traveling in a truck, regardless of weight or classification, will be safely restrained in an approved car seat or seat belt.

This legislation was brought to our attention by a local police force and it closes a loophole found in Title 75 (Vehicles). Under current law, Section 4581 passenger restraint systems (i.e. car seats and booster seats) are only required in Class I and Class II trucks. Larger trucks (Classes III, IV, V, and VI- or those weighing over 7,000 lbs.) are exempt. Children in these larger vehicles face the same, if not greater safety concerns, as those riding in a smaller vehicle. Additionally, it is not uncommon for families today to use a larger pick-up truck as the family vehicle.

As you may know, a secure, properly used car seat or seatbelt can save a child's life during a car accident. Larger trucks should not be exempted from this requirement. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute, car seats can decrease a child’s chance of dying in a car accident by almost 71% (seventy-one) for infants and 59% (fifty-nine) for children ages 1 to 4.

The safety of the children in the Commonwealth is of the utmost importance and ensuring their safety across all classes of vehicles on the road is part of keeping them safe. This simple legislative fix will ensure that children are safely secured in all trucks regardless of weight.

We hope you will join us in sponsoring this important (and potentially lifesaving) legislation.

Introduced as HB1798