New Car Seat Law Requires Children be Nearly 5 Feet Tall to Stop Using
Sometimes our desire to protect children doesn't go far enough. For example, why do we lock up minor drug offenders for years at a time, but a child molester gets probation? It really makes no sense at all, does it? But then there are times when we just go too far in trying to protect, to the point of near-absurdity. Case in point: a new law in Washington state will require children to remain in a car seat until they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height.
The new regulation was signed into law by Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and takes affect in January of 2020. it follows the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to a story from ABC news affiliate WLS-7 in Chicago, the new law could keep children as old as 12 years of age in a booster seat. I'll use my own child as an example of how absurd this could be.
My son, who is now over 21, was every bit of 4 feet 9 inches tall by the time he was in 4th grade. He was always a good head or more taller than his classmates and, at that height, was a solid 55 pounds. He was a football coaches dream come true. They didn't make a booster seat that he could even begin to fit into correctly. Why on earth would a child that size need to be in a booster seat when most modern vehicles have seat belts that will adjust accordingly for height?
What about adults who are under 5 feet tall? I'll be every one of us knows at least one female who is under 5 feet and I know at least two who are 4 feet 10 inches and under. What's next? Requiring adults under 5 feet to sit in a booster seat? While the whole proposal may make sense scientifically (somehow, I guess), in a real-world, practical setting, it just seems a bit of overkill. It's nanny-state government in it's purest form. Twelve words that should scare us all: "We're from the government, and we're here to take care of you."