In 2006 then-state Senator Mary Lazich (now retired) was quite vocal about a bill she voted against that forces parents to put their children under the age of eight in booster seats when they ride in motor vehicles. The bill was signed into law despite Lazich’s objections.
“With a stroke of his pen, the Governor expanded the nanny state in Wisconsin by creating an enforcement and logistic nightmare. Under previous Wisconsin law, parents could decide whether their children between the ages of four and eight should be placed in booster seats or seat belts. That was plain old common sense. Under the new law there are several changes. How are police supposed to enforce this? Will every officer and squad car now be equipped with a scale and a tape measure to determine whether Mom and Dad or Grandpa and Grandma are breaking the law? How are parents expected to know or remember the requirements? Will they have to keep a copy of the law in their glove compartment or tucked under the visor? What are large families to do? Baby seats and booster seats are rather bulky. Imagine trying to squeeze two, three, or four of them into one of the new smaller size cars or vans.
“The many separate requirements by weight and height for each age category are confusing. Burdens are placed upon large families and carpoolers. Booster seats can be expensive and so can the fines for law violators.”
Lazich was not opposed to child safety that everyone supports. The senator’s gripe was that state was taking on the role of thinking for people and the role of decision maker.
Some lawmakers now say the law isn’t safe enough and are looking to make a change in one of the provisions.