The Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children restraint system, or LATCH, is now supported by a new highway safety funding authorization bill that will ultimately reduce the number of child injuries as a result of motor vehicle accidents in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Included in the funding are provisions for safety seat belt reminders, some specifically for backseat passengers, and child restraint systems that are more convenient to use. The law, The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, authorizes funding for highway infrastructure and safety programs. The bill was officially signed into law by President Obama on July 6.
The law directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to initiate rulemaking for child restraint systems that use LATCH devices, which have been proven to increase child car seat usage, and help keep children safe in an accident. LATCH is not new; however, as a result of the new law, a federal agency will now be involved in a widespread promotion.
The new law also promotes seatbelt usage among backseat passengers, as typically, backseat passengers (74%) don’t buckle up as often as front seat riders (85%). The law requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to seek more persistent and stronger reminders than the simple lights and audible warning systems currently in use.