LANSING, Mich., May 4, 2023 — State Reps. Carrie Rheingans (D-Ann Arbor) and John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming) held a press conference today to unveil new legislation, House Bills 4511 and 4512, to clarify child safety seat guidelines and bring them into alignment with federal and industry standards. The representatives were joined by guests Dr. Jonathan Gold of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Dr. Andrew Adair, president of the MI Osteopathic Association; and Lewis Moquin, certified child passenger safety technician instructor.
“The most important job I have as a mom is to keep my daughter safe, and I’m proud to sponsor the first update of our car safety and booster seat regulations in 15 years,” Rheingans said. “This will bring Michigan’s standards into alignment with the current federal and manufacturer recommendations. These new standards take into account height and weight, not just age. This clarifies for parents like me when it is safe to move my daughter from one seat to the next.”
“I am grateful for this opportunity to come together as policymakers, alongside medical professionals, to uplift and explain the importance of this legislation,” Fitzgerald said. “All parents across Michigan need clear, concise and verified information about car seat standards. This legislation does exactly that — it updates Michigan’s car seat safety standards so that children are traveling safely and seated properly.”
The new bills, based on previous legislation, would provide children with greater protection by requiring safety seat regulations in Michigan to be based on the current best federal and manufacturer recommendations instead of age.
“Motor vehicle crashes continue to be a significant contributor to childhood death and injury,” said Patrick Crane, president of the Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners. “With children properly restrained, in line with federal recommendations, their chance of being killed or seriously injured in a crash is greatly reduced. Having worked in the ER, I firmly believe that bringing Michigan statute in line with federal safety standards can greatly reduce injury and help save lives.”