Motor Vehicles; Child Passenger Restraints
Requires child passenger restraints for children younger than 12 years, with specified equipment for different age levels.
TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to traffic violations.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii's current law
regarding mandatory child passenger restraints is inadequate to protect children from injury. According to the Center for Disease Control, more American children between the ages of four and eight die from car crashes than for any other reason.
The legislature further finds that Hawaii's law should be strengthened in the interests of protecting children from death or serious bodily injury. The State of Washington recently enacted a model child passenger restraint law that is the most comprehensive child passenger provision in the nation.
The purpose of this Act is to strengthen the mandatory child passenger restraint law.
SECTION 2. Section 291-11.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection(a) to read as follows:
"(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in the State shall transport a child under [
four] twelve years of age unless the person operating the motor vehicle ensures that the child is properly restrained in a child passenger restraint system approved by the United States Department of Transportation at the time of its manufacture[ .], as follows:
(1) If the child is less than twelve years of age or weighs less than eighty pounds, the seat belt system shall allow sufficient space for installation of a child passenger restraint system that is secured to the vehicle in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer of the system;
(2) If the child is less than one year of age or weighs less than twenty pounds, the child shall be properly restrained in a rear-facing infant seat;
(3) If the child is more than one year of age but less than four years of age or weighs less than forty pounds but not less than twenty pounds, the child shall be properly restrained in a forward facing child safety seat restraint system;
(4) If the child is less than six years of age but not less than four years of age or weighs less than sixty but not less than forty pounds, the child shall be properly restrained in a child booster seat; and
(5) If the child is six years of age or older or weighs more than sixty pounds, the child shall be properly restrained with the motor vehicle's safety belt properly adjusted and fastened around the child's body or an appropriately fitting booster seat."
SECTION 3. Section 291-11.6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, no person[
1) Shall] shall operate a motor vehicle upon any public highway unless the person is restrained by a seat belt assembly and any passengers age twelve years or more in the front or back seat of the motor vehicle are restrained by a seat belt assembly [ if between the ages of four and fifteen or are restrained pursuant to section 291-11.5 if under the age of four; (2) If fifteen years of age or more shall be a passenger in the front seat of a motor vehicle being operated upon any public highway unless such person is restrained by a seat belt assembly; and (3) If between the ages of fifteen and seventeen, shall be a passenger in the back seat of a motor vehicle being operated upon any public highway unless such person is restrained by a seat belt assembly].
As used in this section "seat belt assembly" means the seat belt assembly required to be in the motor vehicle under any federal motor vehicle safety standard issued pursuant to Public Law 89-563, the federal National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, as amended, unless original replacement seat belt assemblies are not readily available. If replacement assemblies are not readily available, seat belts of federally approved materials with similar protective characteristics may be used. Such replacement seat belt assemblies shall be permanently marked by the belt manufacturer indicating compliance with all applicable federal standards."
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.