Senate panel OKs Proos’ bill to close loophole in child safety seat law

LANSING — Legislation sponsored by Sen. John Proos to ensure the safety of young children by eliminating a loophole for violations of the state’s infant car seat requirements was approved Tuesday by the Senate Transportation Committee.

“Currently, if a police officer issues a citation to a driver for not having a young child restrained in a safety seat, the driver may have the ticket waived if they go to the police station and show that they have purchased a child safety seat,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I sponsored this reform after hearing from law enforcement officials in Southwest Michigan that drivers are taking advantage of this loophole. Many times drivers are purchasing an approved child safety seat only to return it to the store once their citation has been waived.”

Berrien County Magistrate Steven Doak testified in support of Proos’ bill.

“The loophole was meant as a way to educate people about child restraint requirements,” Doak said. “However, the law is being taken advantage of and children are being left unprotected.” 

Senate Bill 1241 would remove a provision in current law that allows the court to waive any civil fine for a driver cited for violating the child safety seat law if the individual provides evidence of buying or renting a car seat before their court appearance date.

“My bill is about ensuring the safety of every child passenger in Michigan,” Proos said. “Making this change will send a statement that we take child safety seriously. By ensuring that individuals who endanger children are effectively reprimanded we will be more likely to alter their behavior in the future and possibly save the life of a child.”

The measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Editor’s Note – The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s webpage at Click on “Photowire.”

Audio comments by Sen. Proos are also available on the senator’s webpage under “Podcasts.”