Currently, only children aged three and under have to use car seats or boosters. Children under one have to use a rear-facing car seat.
Proponents say that children aged between four and seven who are involved in a crash are 2.5 times more likely to be injured when they are not riding in a booster seat. Small children are not restrained very well by adult seat belts, and are at risk from abdominal injuries in an accident because the adult belts fit higher on their smaller bodies.
Minnesota joins twenty other states with similar laws. But the new law faced opposition in the Senate. Opponents said that it would lead to more lawsuits, and that parents should be responsible enough to make decisions about car seats.
Most parents are, and most children under seven ride in booster seats after they graduate from their infant and toddler car seats. But not all parents do for various reasons. Complying with the new law is fairly simple though: there are several booster seats appropriate for children aged over three that can be bought for less than $25 and they are much simpler to install and use than infant and toddler car seats.
What do you think? Excess legislation or a lifesaving new law?