NSC: Make child passenger restraints uniform across all modes of transportation

August 16, 2016

Itasca, IL – Citing a patchwork system of laws, regulations and standards, the National Safety Council is calling for uniform child passenger safety practices across multiple modes of transportation.

NSC is recommending the installation of lap and shoulder belts on new school buses, with appropriate restraints for children with special needs. The council also supports a requirement for children 2 and younger riding on airplanes to be restrained in a Federal Aviation Administration-approved child safety seat.

NSC further states that ambulances, police vehicles and recreational vehicles should accommodate the unique needs of child passengers whenever possible, and additional consideration should be used when transporting children with special needs.

“It is time for consistent policies to ensure children arrive safely, regardless of the mode of transportation or the jurisdiction they travel through,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of NSC, said in a press release.

Additional recommendations from NSC include:

  • Using a dynamically tested child restraint device appropriate for each child’s weight, height, age and developmental level.
  • Requiring the use of rear-facing child restraint devices at least through age 2.
  • Using a belt-positioning booster seat until the seat belt fits correctly across the child, and at least until the child is 8 years old and 4 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 80 pounds.
  • Requiring children younger than 13 to ride in the back seat of vehicles.
  • Passing primary enforcement seat belt legislation in all states for all seating positions.

Child restraints in personal vehicles reduce the risk of death up to 71 percent among infants, 54 percent among toddlers, and 45 percent of children between the ages of 4 and 8, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.