LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm this week signed legislation that will require the use of approved booster seats for children who are between the ages of four and eight and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall. The bill takes effect July 1.
“I am pleased today to sign into law a bill that protects Michigan’s most important resource – our children,” Granholm said. “We know that the single best way we can protect our kids is to buckle them in properly. It’s a simple step but a big “boost” for our kids’ safety.”
Current law requires children under age four to ride in an infant or child car seat. The new law extends the requirement to include older children who also are not optimally protected by seat belts alone
“Since seat belts are designed for adults, they do not fit children properly and can actually cause injuries during a crash,” said Michigan Department of Community Health Director Janet Olszewski. “Booster seats are a simple and inexpensive way to protect children in motor vehicle crashes.”
Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) conducts the world’s largest ongoing study of children in crashes and analyzes actual crash data from 16 states, including Michigan. PCPS reports that the risk of injury for a 4 to 8 year-old child is reduced by 59 percent when using a car seat or booster seat. Children in seat belts alone are four times more likely to suffer head/brain injuries as compared to those in booster seats. States that have passed similar laws also have determined that child restraint use increases dramatically when required by law
State Senator Michelle McManus (R-Lake Leelanau), sponsored the bill, and State Representatives Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) and Kathy Angerer (D-Dunde) have sponsored other booster seat legislation.
The governor also urged the Legislature to take quick action on a bill that will make it possible to make free booster seats available to low income families.
The signing of Senate Bill 82 is a culmination of a multi-year effort on the part of child passenger safety advocates in the state of Michigan, including the Safe Kids and Boost MI Kids coalitions. More information on child passenger safety can be found at