Senator Schiavoni Introduces "Child Car Safety Law" To Protect Children On Ohio Roads
Bill would make failure to properly restraint children under the age of 15 a primary traffic offense
February 11, 2015
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Columbus – Today, Democratic Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) reintroduced Senate Bill 44, The Child Car Safety Law, to make it a primary offense for children under the age of 15 to be riding in a vehicle without a safety restraint.
“The legislation will allow law enforcement to pull over a vehicle if it is evident that children are not restrained,” said Leader Schiavoni. “As adults we have to make decisions for children in order to protect their safety.”
 According to the National Council of State Legislatures, four children die and 490 are injured in motor vehicle crashes every day 
in America. Further, more than half of children killed in crashes are totally unrestrained.
Last year, Teresa and Tim Benzel, parents of 11 year-old Addisyn Benzel traveled to Columbus to testify in support of the legislation before the Senate Transportation Committee. Addisyn was thrown from the Chevy Equniox that she was riding in with family and friends after the SUV was struck head-on by another car.
“The thought of what if she just had a seat belt on will forever be in our hearts and minds," said the Benzel family in a statement. “Unfortunately as current law stands safety officials are unable to intervene and potentially save lives without a primary offense occurring. Allowing this provision to become a primary offense would give law enforcement the ability to intervene and hopefully prevent tragedies much like the one our family has been through.”
Similar legislation, House Bill 30, was introduced by Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) earlier this month. However, her legislation would make failure to secure a primary offense for children under the age of eight.
“I applaud Representative Pelanda for her work to ensure the safety of our children,” said Schiavoni. “This is a non-partisan issue. Our children need protection and increasing the penalty for failure to do so will help reduce these fatalities.”
The legislation has received bipartisan support from Senators Kenny Yuko (D-Cleveland), Edna Brown (D-Toledo), Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus), Capri Cafaro (D-Hubbard), Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville), Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Shannon Jones (R-Springboro). It has also received widespread support from the American Automobile Association (AAA), Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Ohio Association for Justice, and the Youngstown Police Department. 

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