A new law went into effect in Oregon on July 1 regarding the use of child safety seats in motor vehicles.

State law now requires the following:

? Infants must ride in rear-facing child safety seats until they reach both one year of age and 20 pounds,

? Children older than 12 months old who weigh between 20 and 40 pounds must be properly secured in a forward-facing child safety seat until they weigh 40 pounds or the weight limit of the seat,

? Children who weigh over 40 pounds must be properly secured in a booster seat until they reach age 8 or 4 foot 9 inches in height,

? Children who are age 8 or older or are taller than 4 feet 9 inches must ride properly secured using the vehicle's safety belt system.

Though this four-level approach may seem complicated and expensive, this approach to reducing the risk of injury or death in a motor vehicle accident is backed by extensive research.

Every year in this country, about 1.5 million children are passengers in motor vehicles involved in accidents, and about 8,000 children under age 15 are killed. Many more are seriously injured.

Sadly, about half of the children killed in car accidents were completely unrestrained, without even a seat belt.

Oregon drivers who travel to Washington state with their children should be aware that Washington law requires children under age 13 years to sit in the back seat of a vehicle "where it is practical to do so." Though this is not the law in Oregon, it's a good idea, since studies have found that riding in the back seat reduces a child's risk of injury in an accident by 33 percent.

Since motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 2-14, and most of us spend plenty of time in our vehicles, let's do our children a favor and follow these research-based laws.

State law now requires the following:

? Infants must ride in rear-facing child safety seats until they reach both one year of age and 20 pounds,

? Children older than 12 months old who weigh between 20 and 40 pounds must be properly secured in a forward-facing child safety seat until they weigh 40 pounds or the weight limit of the seat,

? Children who weigh over 40 pounds must be properly secured in a booster seat until they reach age 8 or 4 foot 9 inches in height,

? Children who are age 8 or older or are taller than 4 feet 9 inches must ride properly secured using the vehicle's safety belt system.

Though this four-level approach may seem complicated and expensive, this approach to reducing the risk of injury or death in a motor vehicle accident is backed by extensive research.

Every year in this country, about 1.5 million children are passengers in motor vehicles involved in accidents, and about 8,000 children under age 15 are killed. Many more are seriously injured.

Sadly, about half of the children killed in car accidents were completely unrestrained, without even a seat belt.

Oregon drivers who travel to Washington state with their children should be aware that Washington law requires children under age 13 years to sit in the back seat of a vehicle "where it is practical to do so." Though this is not the law in Oregon, it's a good idea, since studies have found that riding in the back seat reduces a child's risk of injury in an accident by 33 percent.

Since motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 2-14, and most of us spend plenty of time in our vehicles, let's do our children a favor and follow these research-based laws.

Congressional approval rating plummets

What a difference a year makes. It seems like only yesterday that Congressional Democrats were smacking their chops at the low approval ratings of President Bush. And rightly so, because it was most likely the unpopular war in Iraq and the President's handling of that conflict that swept majorities into both houses of congress.

Now here we are in the summer of 2007, and the congressional approval rating has dropped to an embarrassing 24 percent while the president holds steady at 33 percent. The approval rating for the federal legislative body dropped 11 percent during May alone.

The last time the approval rating was that low was in June 2006 when the Republicans were in control. As recently as two months ago, the new Democratically controlled Congress had an approval rating of 35 percent.

Respondents with allegiances on both sides of the aisle say they are tired of the fighting between Congress and the White House and feel it is time for the two branches to come together on such important issues as education, health care, and the handling of the War in Iraq.

For the most part, people are disappointed that the new Congress has failed to live up to its promises and that much of the proposed new agenda remains bottled up in the Senate.

In Oregon, and elsewhere across the country, voters have made it clear that they are tired of having the consideration of important issues hampered by partisan bickering.

Hopefully both Congress and the White House will get the message and get on with the job at hand.Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board, comprised of Editor and Publisher George Murdock, Managing Editor Steve Brown, General Manager Wendy DalPez, Deputy Managing Editor Dave Sager and East Oregonian Publishing Company Treasurer Kathryn Brown. Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily that of the East Oregonian.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.