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Rep.Turner, Chris

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by: Rep. Turner, Chris

Turner/Zaffirini update to the state’s car seat laws will help keep children safer

AUSTIN – Yesterday, the House concurred with Senate amendments to House Bill (HB) 448 by Representative Chris Turner (HD 101- Grand Prairie) and sponsored by Senator Judith Zaffirini (SD 21-Laredo). The measure updates Texas law to align it with American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations by requiring that children be restrained in a rear-facing car seat until the age of two, unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds or exceeds 40 inches in height or has a medical exemption. This measure mirrors similar laws passed in 14 other states, including Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and South Carolina.

“Keeping children rear-facing until at least two will help ensure that they are more protected in the event of a crash,” said Turner. "This critical change will also help clarify Texas' confusing car seat law and put it in line with best practices and Texas Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation and Department of State Health Services recommendations."

"Rear-facing car seats have been proven to keep children safer and this critical bill will go a long way in educating the public about keeping their children protected on Texas roads," said Ben Raimer, MD, the president of the organization. "The Texas Pediatric Society is thrilled that HB 448 has finally passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature. We commend Representative Turner and Senator Zaffirini for their dedicated advocacy on this important public health measure."

Turner’s bill garnered a great deal of support and was joint authored by Representatives Shawn Thierry, John Zerwas, MD, Diego Bernal and JD Sheffield, DO. Organizations that endorsed the measure include: the Texas Pediatric Society, Safe Kids Austin, Texas Hospital Association, CLEAT (Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas), Texas EMS Trauma & Acute Care Foundation, Texas Nurses Association, United Ways of Texas, Texas State Association of Firefighters, Texas EMS Alliance, General Motors, AAA Texas, Acadian Ambulance Service, Allstate, City of Arlington, City of Grand Prairie, Arlington Professional Firefighters, Department of Public Safety Officers Association, National Safety Council, Nationwide, Texas EMS Alliance, Texas Medical Association, Texas Nurses Association, Texas Public Health Association, and USAA.

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Capitol Address:
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P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-0574

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320 Westway Place, Suite 501

Arlington, TX 76018