New year brings new car seat laws

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On Wednesday, according to AAA, an estimated 54 million Americans are traveling for Thanksgiving, making it the busiest travel day of the year.

While you're strapping in your kids before hitting the road, you might want to keep in mind some news changes to the law that helps keep them safe.

The Road Safety Project Coordinator for the Nebraska Safety Council says now is the perfect time for people to prepare for the update to Nebraska’s Child Passenger Safety Law.

With the new year, comes an update to child car seat laws.

Starting January first, children must ride rear-facing in a secured seat, up to age two or until they reach certain weight or height requirements.

"That offers the most support for the head, neck and spine for our younger children,” said Road Safety Project Coordinator, Mark Segrestrom.

Another important change, all children up to the age of eight must ride in a federally approved safety seat or booster.

Right now that cut-off is age six.

"Now you're using a real seat belt. So we elevate the young people the shoulder harness should come across their collar bone, and their chest, and the lap belt should be across their pelvis and upper thigh area,” said Segrestrom.

LPD says this is a secondary offense and it is something they will ticket you for.

The violation carries a $25 fine plus court costs and one point taken off of your license.

10/11 NOW spoke to a mom here in Lincoln who says she takes car seat safety very seriously.

She says her kids both stayed backwards until they were two.

"They are still both in booster seats, they are seven and nine, my nine year old is a little petite, and she will stay in a booster seat until i feel comfortable with her not in one, and they always sit in the back,” said local mother, Jeanne Stelmach.

Another mom knew about the new law, but not the specifics.

"I have a two year old so the doctor kind of informed us of the new rules,” said local mother, Melissa Mertens.

Both moms agreed this new law is important.

"The impact of accidents, even forward accidents, can be devastating to families,” said Stelmach.

If you need help putting in your car seats properly you can schedule an appointment with Lincoln Fire and Rescue, it opened a fitting station to do car seat checks twice a month.

The next one is on December 11th at Station 14.