Wrecks Kill 21 Unrestrained South Dakota Children in 7 Years

June 27, 2011

A newspaper’s analysis of South Dakota accident records shows that 21 passengers younger than 14 died in the past seven years in accidents after not being restrained in a car seat or safety belt.

The Argus Leader reports that nearly 100 unrestrained children were seriously injured during that period.

South Dakota has some of the least restrictive child-car safety laws and least severe punishments. The state does not require car seats or boosters for passengers older than 4.

Child safety advocates have been pushing for years to require booster seats for 5- to 8-year-olds in the state. The boosters replace the seats used for small children and elevate the body so seat belts are more effective.

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