Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 6956

January Session, 2017

 

LCO No. 5439

 

*05439HB06956TRA*

Referred to Committee on TRANSPORTATION

 

Introduced by:

 

(TRA)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEMS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsections (c) and (d) of section 14-100a of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(c) (1) The operator of and any front seat passenger in any motor vehicle or fire fighting apparatus originally equipped with seat safety belts complying with the provisions of 49 CFR 571.209, as amended from time to time, shall wear such seat safety belt while the vehicle is being operated on any highway, except as follows:

(A) A child [six] seven years of age and under shall be restrained as provided in subsection (d) of this section;

(B) The operator of such vehicle shall secure or cause to be secured in a seat safety belt any passenger [seven] eight years of age or older and under sixteen years of age; and

(C) If the operator of such vehicle is under eighteen years of age, such operator and each passenger in such vehicle shall wear such seat safety belt while the vehicle is being operated on any highway.

(2) The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply to (A) any person whose physical disability or impairment would prevent restraint in such safety belt, provided such person obtains a written statement from a licensed physician or a licensed advanced practice registered nurse containing reasons for such person's inability to wear such safety belt and including information concerning the nature and extent of such condition. Such person shall carry the statement on his or her person or in the motor vehicle at all times when it is being operated, or (B) an authorized emergency vehicle, other than fire fighting apparatus, responding to an emergency call or a motor vehicle operated by a rural letter carrier of the United States postal service while performing his or her official duties or by a person engaged in the delivery of newspapers.

(3) Failure to wear a seat safety belt shall not be considered as contributory negligence nor shall such failure be admissible evidence in any civil action.

(4) Any operator of a motor vehicle, who is eighteen years of age or older, and any passenger in such motor vehicle, who violates any provision of this subsection shall have committed an infraction and shall be fined fifty dollars. Any operator of a motor vehicle who is under eighteen years of age and any passenger in such motor vehicle who violates any provision of this subsection shall have committed an infraction and shall be fined seventy-five dollars. Points may not be assessed against the operator's license of any person convicted of such violation.

[(d) (1) Any person who transports a child six years of age and under or weighing less than sixty pounds, in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to use a child restraint system approved pursuant to regulations adopted by the Department of Motor Vehicles in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. Any person who transports a child seven years of age or older and weighing sixty or more pounds, in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall either provide and require the child to use an approved child restraint system or require the child to use a seat safety belt. As used in this subsection, "motor vehicle" does not mean a bus having a tonnage rating of one ton or more. Failure to use a child restraint system shall not be considered as contributory negligence nor shall such failure be admissible evidence in any civil action.]

[(2)] (d) (1) (A) Any person who transports a child under [one year] two years of age or weighing less than [twenty] thirty pounds in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to ride rear-facing in a child restraint system equipped with a five-point harness approved pursuant to regulations that the Department of Motor Vehicles shall adopt in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(B) Any person who transports a child under five years of age, but not under two years of age, or weighing less than forty pounds, but not less than thirty pounds, in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to ride rear-facing or forward-facing in a child restraint system equipped with a five-point harness approved pursuant to regulations adopted by the Department of Motor Vehicles in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(C) Any person who transports a child under eight years of age, but not under five years of age, or weighing less than sixty pounds, but not less than forty pounds, in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to ride rear-facing or forward-facing in a child restraint system equipped with a five-point harness or a booster seat secured by a seat safety belt approved pursuant to regulations adopted by the Department of Motor Vehicles in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(D) No person shall transport a child in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state in a rear-facing child restraint system in the front seat of any motor vehicle that is equipped with a functional air bag on the passenger side of such motor vehicle.

(2) Any person who transports a child eight years of age or older and weighing sixty or more pounds in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall either provide and require the child to use an approved child restraint system or require the child to use a seat safety belt. As used in this subsection, "motor vehicle" does not mean a bus having a tonnage rating of one ton or more. Failure to use a child restraint system shall not be considered as contributory negligence nor shall such failure be admissible evidence in any civil action.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, any person who transports a child four years of age or older in a student transportation vehicle, as defined in section 14-212, on the highways of this state shall either provide and require the child to use an approved child restraint system or require the child to use a seat safety belt. Any person who transports a child under four years of age weighing less than forty pounds in a student transportation vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to use a child restraint system approved pursuant to regulations adopted by the Department of Motor Vehicles in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(4) No person shall restrain a child in a booster seat unless the motor vehicle is equipped with a safety seat belt that includes a shoulder belt and otherwise meets the requirement of subsection (b) of this section.

(5) Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision (1), (2), (3) or (4) of this subsection shall, for a first violation, have committed an infraction; for a second violation, be fined not more than one hundred ninety-nine dollars; and, for a third or subsequent violation, be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. The commissioner shall require any person who has committed a first or second violation of the provisions of this subsection to attend a child car seat safety course offered or approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The commissioner may, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, suspend for a period of not more than two months the motor vehicle operator's license of any person who fails to attend or successfully complete the course.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2017

14-100a(c) and (d)

Statement of Purpose:

To require that a child under eight years of age but not under five years of age be transported in a child restraint system with a five-point harness or a booster seat, a child under five years of age but not under two years of age be transported in a child restraint system with a five-point harness, a child under two years of age be transported in a rear-facing child restraint system and to prohibit the use of rear-facing child restraint systems in the front seat of vehicles with functional side passenger air bags.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

Co-Sponsors:

REP. KUPCHICK, 132nd Dist.; REP. KLARIDES-DITRIA, 105th Dist.

REP. MCCARTHY VAHEY, 133rd Dist.

H.B. 6956