Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City council updated the city's child-restraint ordinance yesterday, making it match the Missouri state statute.
The altered law specifies that chldren under 4 should be in safety seats unless they weigh over 40 pounds - from then till 8 years old, a booster seat is required till the child weighs 80 pounds. Seat belts are mandated from that benchmark till age 16 or a height of 4-9. There is a soccer mom exemption for cases in which there are more kids in the car than there are seat belts.
But in a council committee session from Phyllis Larimore of Children's Mercy Hospital that the real problem is not the law, but the fact that people are not obeying it. Larimore says children arriving at the hospital are almost never in proper safety restraints, nor are most of those she observes in cars at other locations.
Council members say they'll look into methods to educate the public about compliance, including how to properly install safety seats and booster seats.