Not so fast 5-year-olds! Booster seats could stay

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Parents, do not throw out that booster seat just yet.

"I don't know who invented this, but this is the best thing, this is the greatest thing," said Shrondia Davis, Kid Kountry Too teacher. "When I'm driving with my grand baby and I know he's locked down, I feel better."

The bill is now in the hands of Governor Rick Perry awaiting his signature. One dad said the extended booster seat rules are a good idea.

"You know how kids are, they like to get loose, and I think it's better to hold them down when they get aggravated or mad or want to cause fits," said Isiah Menefee, a parent.

Menefee's kids are three and four. He said he doesn't mind making them ride in a booster seat a few years longer.

"Yeah, they're big, but I still feel like that's a good idea," said Menefee.

The new rules would mean if your child is under eight-years-old or under 4'9" tall they will be required to stay strapped in.

"Some people were thinking, 'Well, if my child is nine or 10-years-old and he's not very tall then he's still going to have to wear it,' well that's not the case," said Greg Sanches, Lufkin Department of Public Safety spokesperson.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, those not properly restrained are more likely to get to get thrown from the vehicle.

"Anybody that is thrown out of a vehicle, they're 25 times more likely to die," said Sanches.

Safety officials said seat belts are made for adults and do not properly restrain kids. Booster seats insure kids are safe and snug.

"It's a perfect fit on him," said Davis as she strapped in a child. "If there was a hit on the van or whatever it will hold them, you know and it just wouldn't throw them forward."

The change would take effect June 1. Parents have a year until fines would be handed-out. After that the fine would be $25.

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