The National Safety Council is
calling for uniform child passenger safety practices across multiple modes of transportation.
"Patchwork" is a word that describes America's child passenger restraint laws, regulations and standards, so NSC is working to ensure children arrive safely, regardless of the jurisdiction they travel through or the mode of transportation. In a
new NSC position statement, we're calling for:
- Lap and shoulder belts on new school buses; they add an extra layer of protection – particularly in rollover and side-impact crashes
- Appropriate restraints and clear support for children with special needs
- Children under age 2 to be properly restrained in their own seat on airplanes using a FAA-approved child restraint device, because it's impossible for adults to safely hold children during a crash or severe turbulence
NSC also recommends children sit in rear-facing restraint devices at least through age 2, and children under 13 always ride in the back seat.
The Governors Highway Safety Association reports
34 states have enacted primary enforcement seat belt legislation for children under a certain age, while 18 states require all occupants to be restrained, meaning officers across the nation can issue citations when people are not buckled up. NSC supports passage of primary enforcement in all states for all seating positions.
The safety restraints we're recommending go above and beyond the minimum requirements in most states. That's because too often state laws are no match for the laws of physics.
On average, two children under age 13 were killed and 308 were injured
every day in 2014 while riding in vehicles. Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71% among infants, 54% among toddlers and 45% among children ages 4 to 8, according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Protecting children is everyone's responsibility. We can – and must – do better.