AAA Minnesota/Iowa Announces Legislative Hearings in Conjunction with National Child Passenger Safety Week (February 13-19)

BURNSVILLE, Minn., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ — AAA Minnesota/Iowa announced that its bipartisan legislation to enhance child passenger safety will be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee at 3 p.m., on Tuesday, Feb. 15, in Capitol 15 (S.F. 298) and heard in the House Transportation Committee at 2:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 16, in Room 10 of the State Office Building (H.F. 319).

“Most people do not realize automobile crashes are the No. 1 killer of children in the United States and that many of these deaths could be prevented. Nationwide, motor vehicle crashes killed a staggering total of 2,136 child occupants 14 years of age and under in 2003, and injured 253,000 others,” stated Jeff Ogden, president of AAA Minnesota/Iowa.

“Child passenger safety legislation is our top priority this session in Minnesota, which has one of the weakest laws in the nation. The current law states that children under age 4 must be in an approved child restraint system, and children ages 4 to 11 must be restrained, but allows that restraint to be an adult seat belt. Current legislation can give parents the false impression that after age three, children are safe when restrained with an adult seat belt. At AAA Minnesota/Iowa, we would like to change the Minnesota state statute to require children ages 4 through 8 be properly secured in the appropriate child restraint system,” continued Ogden.

Bipartisan authors in the House are: Duke Powell (R), Michael Paymar (DFL), Keith Ellison (DFL), Peter Nelson (R), Frank Hornstein (DFL), Connie Ruth (R), Paul Gazelka (R) and Melissa Hortman (DFL). Bipartisan authors in the Senate are: Mike McGinn (R), Leo Foley (DFL), Sharon Marko (DFL), Dave Kleis (R) and Jane Ranum (DFL).

AAA is part of a coalition of interests concerned for child passenger safety including: the Minnesota Safety Council, Minnesota Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Hennepin County Medical Center, the Insurance Federation of Minnesota, as well as more than 60 law enforcement agencies across the state.

AAA Minnesota/Iowa, which includes more than 700,000 members, offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial services. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the largest affiliation of AAA clubs in the Midwest, with 4.1 million members in eight states. ACG clubs belong to the national AAA federation, a not-for-profit organization, with more than 45 million members in the United States and Canada.

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