Possible changes to child safety seats in cars - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Possible changes to child safety seats in cars

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State lawmakers are hoping to keep children safer in the car by making it easier for prosecutors to file criminal charges against a driver who does not have a child properly strapped into a car or booster seat.

Current law allows adults the chance to possibly wave a ticket by proving they have a properly working car seat. However, the proposed change would make it harder for these tickets to be revoked.

Although properly strapping your child into a car seat is one of the main factors in preventing injury in the event of an accident, there are other factors as well.

We spoke with Tracy Tellman, the Traffic Safety Specialist for the Texas Department of Transportation said things like weather and the length that you have owned the car seat can affect the integrity of the seat.

"Child safety seats are made out of plastic and they age. The plastic ages and it can fail in a crash," she said.

"You don't want to put it in the attack where it can reach high temperatures, it needs to be stored at room temperature," she added.

Manufactures tend to recommend that car seats are replaced once every six years to make sure they are up to date and meet safety standards.

Tellman also told us buying a used car seat from a garage sale or accepting one as a hand-me-down can be dangerous.

"You don't want to purchase a child safety seat from a garage sale because you don't know the history of the seat, you don't know if it has all the parts and you may or may not have the instructions with," she said.

If a car seat has been a crash, Tellman says it's important to destroy the car seat by cutting up the straps and throwing out the different parts on separate days, so someone else won't take it and reassemble the damaged seat. Once the car seat has been in a crash, it is unsafe and should be replaced immediately.

If the proposed bill is signed into law by the Governor, changes will start September first.

Colleen Nelson, NewsChannel 10.