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Blunt Signs Booster Seat Bill

By Maria Carter

Kansas City, MO – Missouri parents soon will have to put most children in booster seats until they are eight. That's under a new bill Governor Matt Blunt signed yesterday in Kansas City. KCUR's Maria Carter reports.

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Children under the age of eight will be required to use a booster seat. That is, unless the child weighs more than 80 pounds or is taller than 4 feet 9 inches. The booster seat lifts the child up so the seat belt fits correctly. Children under the age of four will be required to be in car seats. Governor Blunt says the law, which goes into effect at the end of August, will save lives.

Matt Blunt: "I think if you look at the data, it's clear that lots of injuries are caused by inappropriate use of seat belts by young people, improper use, and booster seats help to alleviate that and reduce that improper use. So I believe that this will help reduce injuries and very well could reduce the number of fatalities that we have on Missouri highways."

Safety advocates say the new bill will reduce injuries children receive in auto accident by as much as 60 percent. Critics say the booster seats are costly and inconvenient to use. Kansas passed similar legislation which takes effect this weekend.

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