Booster seat law takes effect Friday; Albany club holds fundraiser

Two car seats on display at the Albany Kiwanis Club luncheon at Darton College. / Mike Manzoni

Governor Nathan Deal has signed a new law mandating children under eight ride in either a car or booster seat.

The bill requires children to be restrained in a child passenger safety device until they are 8-years-old.

Violators of the law can be cited for a primary offense. The driver of the vehicle will be subject to the penalty, not necessarily the parents of the child.

Dewey Smith, a member of the Albany Kiwanis Club, said his organization has raised $1,000 to buy new car and booster seats to those who cannot afford them. He said car and booster seat prices vary, buy can be purchased for a low as $30.

"The driver of the vehicle is ultimately responsible for the children in their vehicle," said Officer Christopher Richardson. "All drivers need to make sure that all children in their vehicle are properly restrained."

Richardson said parents may be charged with child endangerment in the event a child is injured because he or she was not properly restrained, but that would be on a case by case basis.

There are a few exemptions:

Child is 4'9" or taller

A doctor's note for a medical condition

Child weighs 40 pounds or more

The Peach State is not the only one with a booster seat law. Several States -- including Oregon -- have similar ones.