HB1908: Child restraint devices; raises booster seat age, prohibits certain in front seat.

HOUSE BILL NO. 1908
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 4, 2007
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 46.2-1095 and 46.2-1100 of the Code of Virginia, relating to child restraint devices.
Patron-- Albo

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That §§ 46.2-1095 and 46.2-1100 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 46.2-1095. Child restraint devices required when transporting certain children; safety belts for other children less than sixteen years old required; penalty.

A. Any person who drives on the highways of Virginia any motor vehicle manufactured after January 1, 1968, shall ensure that any child, through up to age five eight, whom he transports therein is provided with and properly secured in a child restraint device of a type which meets the standards adopted by the United States Department of Transportation. Furthermore, rear-facing child restraint devices used for infants from birth to one year shall be placed only in the back seat of any motor vehicle manufactured after January 1, 1968.

B. Any person transporting any child less than sixteen years old, except for those required pursuant to subsection A to be secured in a child restraint device, shall ensure that such child is provided with and properly secured by an appropriate safety belt system when driving on the highways of Virginia in any motor vehicle manufactured after January 1, 1968, equipped or required by the provisions of this title to be equipped with a safety belt system, consisting of lap belts, shoulder harnesses, combinations thereof or similar devices.

C. A violation of this section shall not constitute negligence, be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence or be the subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damages in a civil action.

D. A violation of this section may be charged on the uniform traffic summons form.

E. Nothing in this section shall apply to taxicabs, school buses, executive sedans, or limousines, or the rear cargo area of vehicles other than pickup trucks.

§ 46.2-1100. Use of standard seat belts permitted for certain children.

The use of a seat belt of the type which is standard equipment shall not violate this article if (i) the affected child is at least four years old but less than six nine years old and (ii) the weight and size of the child is such as to make the use of such seat belt practical and the use of an approved child restraint impractical.