Child Passenger Restraints

Requires child under four years old instead of under three years
old to be properly restrained in child passenger seat. (SD1)

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that, according to the
 2 National Traffic Safety Administration, many children die or are
 3 disabled in survivable crashes because they were not properly
 4 restrained in car seats or seat belts.  In Hawaii, children
 5 between the ages of three and four who ride in cars may be
 6 legally, but unsafely, restrained with seat belts rather than car
 7 seats.  Seat belts are designed for older children and adults,
 8 not children in this age group whose size and physical
 9 development make seat belts less effective and, in some cases,
10 unsafe.  The legislature also recognizes that Hawaii's child
11 passenger restraint law does not conform to the age standard
12 proposed in the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and
13 Ordinances' model child restraint law.  Adhering to the
14 nationally recommended age standard will not only increase the
15 protection afforded to children in this age group, but it will
16 also clarify Hawaii's law, making compliance and enforcement more
17 likely.
18      The purpose of this Act is to increase the safety of
19 Hawaii's children by amending Hawaii's child passenger restraint

Page 2                                                     162
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1

 1 law to reflect the National Traffic Safety Administration's
 2 recommendations.
 3      SECTION 2.  Section 291-11.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 4 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
 5      "(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, no
 6 person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in the State
 7 shall transport a child under four years of age [except under the
 8 following circumstances:
 9      (1)  If the child is under three years of age,] unless the
10           person operating the motor vehicle [shall ensure]
11           ensures that the child is properly restrained in a
12           child passenger restraint system approved by the United
13           States Department of Transportation at the time of its
14           manufacture[; or
15      (2)  If the child is three years of age or older but less
16           than four years of age, the person operating the motor
17           vehicle must either ensure that the child is properly
18           restrained in a child passenger restraint system
19           approved by the United States Department of
20           Transportation at the time of its manufacture or ensure
21           that the child is restrained by a seat belt assembly]."
22      SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
23 New statutory material is underscored.

Page 3                                                     162
                                     S.B. NO.           S.D. 1

 1      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 1999.