Authorities say four kids between the ages of five and eight, who were on their way to school, were sent to the hospital after the car they were in crashed. And authorities say none of them were in child restraint devices. Highway Patrol says the driver of the car was traveling too fast on a narrow, curvy section of Highway 121 near Falkland in Pitt County. Troopers say the 20-year-old driver was taking her two children and two of her neighbor's children to school when she lost control of the car and crashed into a utility pole. Charges against the driver are pending. The driver and all of the children were taken to the hospital. The following is North Carolina's Child Passenger Safety Law:
NC Child Passenger Safety Law - G.S. 20-137.1
Summary of law
» Children less than age 16 in front or back seats are covered under the NC Child Passenger Safety law.
» Drivers and passengers 16 years old and older are covered by the NC Seat Belt Law.
» All vehicles required by federal standards to have seat belts are covered. In general, these are cars made after 1967, light trucks and vans made after 1971, and large buses including school and municipal buses.
» A properly used child restraint device (CRD) is required if the child is less than 8 years old AND weighs less than 80 pounds. Most parents and other care givers will be able to comply by using belt-positioning booster seats for children between 40 and 80 pounds. The child must be within the weight range for the child restraint/booster seat and it must meet Federal standards in effect at time of manufacture.
» Children may be secured in a properly fitted seat belt at age 8 (regardless of weight) OR at 80 pounds (regardless of age) - whichever comes first. Placing the shoulder belt under a child's (or adult's) arm or behind the back is both dangerous and illegal.
» If no seating position equipped with a lap and shoulder belt to properly secure a belt positioning booster seat is available, a child who weighs at least 40 pounds may be restrained by a properly fitted lap belt only. WARNING: Belt-positioning booster seats can only be used with lap and shoulder combination safety belts. Belt-positioning booster seats must NEVER be used with just a lap belt.
Refer to "What are Options for Children over 40 pounds?
Position in Vehicle:
» The CRD must be installed in the rear seat if the child is less than age 5 and 40 lbs. and if the vehicle has a passenger side air bag and a rear seat.
» Front seat installation is allowed if the CRD is designed for use with air bags.
» Vehicles not required to have belts (such as cars made before 1968 and pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans made before 1972, and large buses)
» Ambulances and other emergency vehicles
» If child's "personal needs" are being tended to
» If all seating positions with belts are occupied
» Driver responsible for all children less than sixteen
» Penalty not to exceed $25
» Full court costs apply ($110)
» Two (2) driver license points
» No insurance points
» No conviction if the child is less than 8 years old and proof is presented at trial that an appropriate CRD/Booster seat has been acquired for a vehicle in which the child is normally transported since the violation.