Columbus, OH – Ohio drivers who don't put child passenger into special booster seats before buckling them up will soon be risking fines. Governor Ted Strickland has just signed into law a proposal that makes the booster seats mandatory for children, ages 4 through 8. Highway safety experts say that when kids wear seat belts alone without the boosters, the belts can sometimes cause additional injuries in car crashes. The governor's signature means the law will take effect in early April, but that will kick in a six month grace period, when motorists can be warned but not ticketed. Rick Oxender lobbies for Ohio's triple A auto clubs, and he talked with Ohio Public Radio's Bill Cohen how that will work.
If Ohio had adopted a more stringent version of this law, the state could have been eligible for more than a million dollars from the federal government, and part of the cash could have been used to purchased tens of thousands of booster seats for low-income families. Backers of the idea, though, didn't have enough votes to push through that tougher version.