The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

New car seat law unfair to parents

Viewpoint by Edna Horton/nw news editor

Starting Sept 1, the Texas Department of Public Safety enacted a new law everyone should know about.

The law has two parts. One is that all passengers in any type of car, van or SUV must wear a seat belt no matter what their age or where they are sitting.

Fine. Smart people should do that anyway. What bugs me is the second part of the law requiring that all children under 8 or less than 4’ 9” tall must be in an approved child passenger safety seat.

I love my children dearly and am extremely concerned for their safety. My three boys are 12, 7 and 1. The only one who should be in a car seat is the 1-year-old.

I taught them how to ride in the car from the age of 6. I see no problem in letting children ride without a car seat at that age, but what we need is what every parent should have with their children anyway: rules, boundaries and punishments.

My children learned to ride in the car, with seat belts and without moving around, by my offering them candy at the end of the trip. Yes, that’s right. I bribed my children with candy. If they sat still in the car wherever we were going, they got to eat candy when we got there. They still get this reward. Some may consider it lazy parenting, but it is effective, and our dentist loves me.

This is not an effective plan for all parents. I don’t want you to throw your children in your car willy-nilly and scream at them to put their seat belts on or they won’t get candy. I also don’t want you to strap your babies to the top of your car, or hold them out the window while driving down the freeway and scream at them to “run faster, run faster.” What I want every parent to do is what they believe is right for their family. 

Officers started giving out warnings yesterday. My 7-year-old will be 8 Friday, so if I get pulled over before that time, I will take the warning, or will lie and say he is 8. After June 1, the law will be fully enforced.

In the end, everyone should do what is right for their family.

My wish for all parents, is to do what they believe is right and to raise healthy, happy, wonderful children.

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