March 15, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A government panel is telling the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it needs to strengthen seat belt laws, address product design issues for smaller passengers and put more money into national education programs.
The panel, which the NHTSA commissioned, recommends that when children outgrow child safety seats around the age of 4, they should be required to ride in booster seats until they weigh at least 60 to 80 pounds.
Children should ride in the back seat of the vehicle until the age of 13, the panel said.
The panel also recommended better state and local law enforcement of child passenger safety laws.
The group said law enforcement agencies should design crash test dummies representing a 10-year-old, and should come up with crash investigation procedures to understand child passenger injuries.
The panel recommended $750 million in funding for the new programs, which they said should come from an one-half cent increase in the motor fuel tax.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 5 to 16. Teens from 13 to 15 make up the age group with the lowest restraint use.
Ford, GM announce new child safety plans
National Safe Kids Campaign
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