NASHVILLE - A requirement that children use booster seats until they reach age 9, or a height of five feet, was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Phil Bredesen.
The law goes into effect July 1, 2004.
The sponsors, Rep. Rob Briley and Sen. Joe Haynes, both Nashville-area Democrats, said the idea originated with Vanderbilt University Children's Hospital and other children's hospitals around the state, "which see children every day who are not fortunate enough to stay safe," Briley said.
Twenty years ago, Tennessee was the first state in the nation to require children to ride in safety seats.
"This updates that to reflect new technology and the increased knowledge of how children are injured in car accidents," Briley said.
State law already requires children up to age 4 to ride in safety seats. The new law requires children up to a year old, or 20 pounds, to be facing rearward, which statistics show is safer for infants.