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Under current law a person commits a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine up to $250 if a child younger than eight years of age (unless the child is taller than four feet, nine inches) is not secured during the operation of the passenger vehicle in a child passenger safety seat system.
SB 278 would further regulate car seat requirements by mandating that children under two years of age (unless they are taller than three feet, for inches or weigh more than 40 pounds) must be secured in rear-facing child safety seats. An offense would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $250.
The proper securing of a child in a vehicle is a responsibility of the parent, not government. Expanding this already existing offense is an unnecessary expansion of government and goes against our principles of personal responsibility and limited government. Texas does not need to impose yet another top-down, one-size-fits-all policy regarding child seating arrangements in vehicles.
The job of parenting is already difficult enough without having the government add regulations that incur still more compliance costs and assess penalties for noncompliance. Cars come in all shapes and sizes, as do children and adults. It is not always practical to have a two year old in a rear facing seat depending on the size of car, how far back the front seats must be moved back to accommodate the height of the parents, and the amount of space between the front and back seats. The state should avoid at every opportunity the impulse to regulate every aspect of our daily lives. We oppose SB 277.