Sat09202014

On The Road

Age and size determine use of child-safety seat

Q: My daughter is 7 and particularly small for her age (59 pounds). I know that the general rule of thumb is to have children 6 or younger ride in the backseat in a child-safety seat, but because my daughter is so small, should I keep her in her safety seat even though she’s older?

A: Yes. The California Driver Handbook states that any child age 6 or younger or 60 pounds or less must be properly secured in a federally approved child passenger restraint system and ride in the backseat of a vehicle. This is an absolute must to ensure that your daughter is as safe as possible when riding in your vehicle.

Q: I was cited for speeding on a recent rainy day. I am really angry about it because I was going under the speed limit. The posted speed limit was 50 and I was going 45 mph. How can the CHP officer justify this citation?

A: According to the California Driver Handbook, California has a “basic speed law” that states you may never drive faster than what is safe for current conditions. Because it was raining and the roads were likely wet and slippery, the CHP officer must have determined that you were going faster than was safe for the weather that day. To avoid this situation in the future, pay careful attention when weather conditions are poor and take extra caution as you drive, because you can get cited for speeding even if you’re following the posted speed limit.

George Valverde has served as California Department of Motor Vehicles director since 2006. He has been in public service for more than 30 years, focusing on operations and budget issues. Prior to his DMV appointment, Valverde was undersecretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency and deputy secretary for fiscal operations.

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