Child Safety Seat Laws, Cell Phone Rules For Teens In Effect

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Loudoun County Health Department

Loudoun County is reminding parents of the recent changes in the Virginia child safety seat laws and a new measure regarding cell phone usage by provisional drivers.

The changes in the child safety seat laws have increased the age requirements for child restraint devices.

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Effective July 1, 2007, the age that children must be properly secured in a child restraint device increases from five years to eight years. Additionally, any rear-facing child restraint devices shall be placed in the back seat of a vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a back seat, the rear-facing child restraint device may be placed in the front passenger seat only if the vehicle is either not equipped with a passenger side airbag or the passenger side airbag has been deactivated.

The implementation of this new law also serves as a reminder for to parents to ensure their child's safety seat is properly installed. A report conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that nearly 73% of all child restraints are misused, needlessly exposing children to an increased risk of injury or death. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment to have your child seat inspected, please call a Fire/Rescue station in your area.

The child safety seat inspection program is one way of helping parents insure that their child's car seat is properly installed. A child safety seat that is properly installed and used correctly helps provide effective crash protection for your child. On the other hand, incorrect use of a child safety seat can drastically reduce its effectiveness.

The Sheriff's Office would also like to remind parents and teenage provisional drivers of a new measure regarding cell phone usage while driving. The measure prohibits the use of cellular telephones or any other wireless telecommunication devices, whether or not they are hand-held, by drivers under 18-years-old while operating a motor vehicle.

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