Booster Seat Safety Historical Timeline
The Blue Ribbon Panel on “Forgotten Children” (ages 5-16) is formed. In 1998, more than 60 percent of children killed in crashes were completely unrestrained. At the time, only Alaska required all children from birth to 16 to be properly restrained in all seating positions, and use among children 4 to 16 nationally was only 64 percent (use among infants was at 85 percent).
The Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act is signed into law by President Clinton, with many provisions to better protect booster-age and booster-sized children.
For Child Passenger Safety Week, NHTSA launches the “Don’t Skip a Step” program, emphasizing the need to increase booster seat use.
Washington Governor Gary Locke signs “Anton’s Law” – the Nation’s first mandatory State booster seat use requirement – into law.
Ford Motor Company launches the “Boost America” program, including the donation of one million booster seats.
- The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine conducts an international conference to promote the establishment of a scientifically sound public policy on booster seats.
NHTSA holds public hearing on booster seat education plan mandated by Congress.
For Child Passenger Safety Week, NHTSA unveils the “4 Steps for Kids” theme, again emphasizing the need to increase booster seat use.
NHTSA awards series of hospital-based demonstration projects to identify and test community strategies to increase booster seat use. A best-practices guide based on these activities was published in June 2004 -- see “References
- The Federal version of Anton’s Law is signed into law by President Bush, with additional measures to better protect booster-aged/-sized children.
- NHTSA updates its booster seat recommendation, emphasizing age and height and de-emphasizing weight.
- NHTSA and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) establish a five-year occupant protection partnership, emphasizing efforts to increase booster seat use.
- NHTSA proposes major revisions to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213, the primary Federal standard governing the design, labeling, and performance requirements for child restraints.
- The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) universal child restraint anchorage system becomes mandatory on most passenger vehicles and child restraint systems manufactured on or after September 1, 2002.
- First annual compilation of new TREAD-mandated child safety seat ratings is finalized.
Child safety seat use rises to record levels (99 percent and 94 percent for infants and toddlers, respectively). Among children 4 to 8, however, use is only 83 percent, and 29 percent of these children are riding in front seating positions.
NHTSA awards follow-up demonstration project to the Think First Foundation to conduct replicable community activities to increase the number of correctly restrained booster-age child passengers.
The 2003 highway fatality rate is found to be the lowest ever recorded.
The 2003 NHTSA Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey (MVOSS) telephone survey finds booster seat use at only 21 percent.
Study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that booster seats reduce the risk of injury by 59 percent, compared to the use of an adult safety belt alone.
New NHTSA study finds “critical misuse” of child safety seats and booster seats is at nearly 73 percent; misuse is determined to be common among children using boosters.
NHTSA and the Ad Council unveil a new three-year booster seat public service advertising campaign, including the launch of www.boosterseat.gov.
NADA conducts first “Booster Seat Safety Month” in October.
Final rule mandated by Anton’s Law is issued requiring lap-shoulder belts to be installed in passenger vehicle rear-center seating positions; will be fully phased in by 2008, and is expected to help improve safety among older-child passengers.
- As of November 1, 2005, 33 States and the District of Columbia had upgraded their child restraint laws to require the use of a booster seats or other appropriate child restraint device by children up to as old as 9.
- Child safety seat use remains at record levels (98 percent of infants and 93 percent of toddlers, respectively). In contrast, however, only 73 percent of children 4 to 7 are restrained, down from 83 percent in 2002.