The number of Alabama drivers strapping kids into car seats has risen, but officials said they want legislation requiring more kids traveling in vehicles to be restrained.
Child restraint usage jumped to 89 percent in 2002, up from 77 percent in 2000, according to a new survey by the state Department of Public Health. Adult seat belt usage held steady at 79 percent of drivers.
Currently, state law requires children through the age of six to be secured in some type of car seat. But state officials said they want that expanded through age eight.
Dr. Bill King, the director of the Alabama SAFE KIDS Campaign at the Child Safety Institute of Children's Hospital in Birmingham, said a law requiring special seats for kids who have outgrown infant seats and convertible seats would save more lives.
Adult drivers in Shelby and Montgomery counties had the highest rate of seat belt usage in the state at 87 percent and 84 percent, respectively, according to the new study. The lowest amount of seat belt usage was in Jefferson and Blount counties.
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Source: www.state.il.us/isp/ (Illinois State Police Web site) contributed to this report.
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