Priority 5: Child Restraint Law Review and Revision

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From 2006-09, motor vehicle crashes remained the leading cause of injury death for Ohio children ages 5 to 9 and the third-leading cause for ages 1 to 4.1 From 1999 to 2007, at least 58 Ohio children under the age of 8 were killed as occupants in motor vehicle traffic crashes.2

Proper use of child safety seats and booster seats is one of the most important preventive measures to reduce motor vehicle-related death and injury; yet it remains a challenge in Ohio. Using a booster seat instead of a seat belt alone reduces the risk of death in a crash by 59%.3 In 2007, Ohio’s booster seat use rate for children aged 4 to 7 was only 18%, one of the lowest in the country.4

The CDC Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommends primary child restraint laws based on strong evidence of their effectiveness. This means that law enforcement are able to stop and cite drivers for failure to properly restrain a child in a child restraint or booster seat as required by law. Proper enforcement combined with education and safety seat distribution programs provide the greatest evidence of success in reducing these preventable deaths among children.

Goal: 
Establish an Ohio-specific baseline for child restraint use for ages birth to 8 years when data becomes available. As part of a national effort, increase age appropriate child restraint use for ages birth to 12 months from 86 to 95 percent restrained in rear-facing child safety seats. As part of a national effort, increase age appropriate child restraint use for ages 1 to 3 years from 72 to 79 percent restrained in front-facing child safety seats. As part of a national effort, increase age appro