New law may save Mississippi lives
Published 10:55 am Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Being in last place gets old in Mississippi.
The latest list revelation: More children die in car crashes in our state per capita than any other state in the country.
Mississippi also led the nation in a study in the percentage of children in fatal accidents who were not properly restrained.
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The reason is rather clear, since many children killed are either not buckled into safety belts or buckled improperly.
This problem dates back to our rural roots and a Deep South culture that has long viewed seat belts as more of a hindrance than a lifeline. Even our state laws, to date, haven’t cooperated.
Only the driver, front-seat passengers are required to wear safety belts and under 7 are required to be restrained in a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt. In other words, children 8 or older can sit in the back seat completely unrestrained.
And that has been a deadly equation.
Thankfully Mississippi has a new law coming into effect on July 1 of this year that will require all passengers in a car to wear a properly fastened seat belt or be restrained in a car seat.
This change will undoubtedly save lives, and hopefully move us off this bottom of this dreadful list.