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“I was that mom… the one placing her child, the most important thing to her, in the car seat wrong. I was that mom that would share pictures like the one above on social media sites and never was corrected. I was that mom that would allow friends and family to take my children places and assumed they were safe in the car. I was that mom that would put hundreds of miles on the car without a care in the world assuming everything was perfect until……it was too late. It only takes a second for your life to change.” ~ Holly Wagner, LA

I read Holly’s story, just days before the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 1135 updating rules for how children should be buckled up. This law will bring standards closer to those recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the federal government.

Michigan’s current law requires
•children under 4 years of age to be properly secured in a child restraint system in the rear seat of the vehicle.
•children between the ages of 4 and 8, but not more than 4’9” be secured in a booster seat.
•children between the ages of 8 – 15 be secured in a properly adjusted safety belt.

If the House passes SB1135 and the Governor signs the bill,
•children under 16 years of age must be in the rear seat of the vehicle.
•children under 2 or kids weighing less than 30 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing child seat
•children between the ages of 2 and 5, weighing 30-50 pounds must be secured in a forward-facing child seat.
•children between the ages of 5 and 10, not more than 4’9” and weighing 50 pounds or more must be secured in a booster seat.
•children between the ages of 10 – 15, must be secured in a properly adjusted safety belt.

The Michigan Senate says that clarifying the law will help drivers know when to use rear- and forward-facing child seats, booster seats and seat belts for their child passengers under the age of 16. Equally important is knowing how to properly restrain children to keep them safe, something Holly wishes she would have known before it was too late. It’s up to every driver to make sure car seats are used and installed correctly. A review of the Safe Kids Car Seat Checklist or to find a car seat inspection event in your area, please visit

Law or not, if your child is not properly secured, it could be fatal. I know life gets very busy especially during the holidays, but this is a shortcut you definitely don’t want to take. You don’t want to be that mom, or dad, or grandparent, or neighbor who realized too late that you were doing it wrong.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.


  1. Gravatar for Laura

    If the booster seats are designed, and required, to make a child safer in an adult safety belt, why is age an indicator at all? Just because a child turns eight (or ten, as the new proposals indicate) does not make them safe in a seat belt without a booster seat. If size makes the difference, why are ages being written into the law?

  2. Gravatar for some one

    So how are kids supposed to learn to drive a car before they are 16. From the backseat? How did this even get passed as a law.

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