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Changes in child passenger safety laws

(Randy Novotny, on behalf of the Colorado State Patrol, is a new columnist who will write periodic articles addressing new laws, changing laws and clarification of existing laws. His goal is to promote community safety and keep readers informed of laws, which may affect everyone. The state patrol’s goal of community safety begins with education and understanding of the laws.)There have been recent changes in Colorado’s child-passenger safety law, which became effective on Aug. 1, 2004. The change is intended to protect children and reduce injuries during traffic crashes. The previous version of the child safety law required children, from infant to four years, or forty pounds, to be in child restraint seats. Colorado’s new law has been expanded to include children up to six years or fifty-five inches tall, and it addresses seat positioning for maximum safety.The new law requires infants to ride in a rear-facing child safety seat until they are at least one-year-old and weigh at least 20 pounds. The law also requires children ages one to four years old who weigh from 20 pounds up to forty pounds to be restrained in a forward-facing child seat. Children between the ages of four to six and less than fifty-five inches tall are to be restrained using booster seats. Last, a child who is at least six years old or at least fifty-five inches tall and under the age of sixteen must be properly restrained with a safety belt regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle.For maximum safety and effectiveness, regarding child safety seats, follow the manufacture’s instructions and recommendations regarding use in vehicles equipped with airbags. For more information on child seat safety, please visit next article will cover the new and significantly changed teenage graduated driver license process. Please buckle up and drive safely.

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