Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Tyranny of the Baby Seat.

The tyranny of the car seat isn't confined to the mollycoddlers in Washington. Every state in the union has laws on the books mandating the use of car seats for infants and toddlers. Thirty-eight states now have laws also mandating the use of booster seats. If anything, the laws in the District of Columbia are on the lax side.

In Massachusetts, once eight-year-olds graduate from their booster seats, they must remain in the backseat of the car, using normal seatbelts, until age twelve. In Maine, children over 40 pounds must be in a booster seat until they reach eight years of age or 80 pounds--whichever comes last. The penalty for violating these laws varies from state to state, ranging from $10 to $500 per infraction. (The District of Columbia also tacks two points onto your license for good measure.) In Nevada, you can be sentenced to up to 50 hours of community service.

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