Bye. The House passed a bill closing a loophole in seat belt law

According to some popular pickup trucks, compact children do not need to be restrained in car seats Pennsylvania law. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that would change that.

“It’s truly amazing that we don’t have these protections in place for some vehicles,” Rep. Joe McAndrew (R-Allegheny), the bill’s lead sponsor, said in a statement low comments on Wednesday on the House floor. “Adding these protections to keep our children safe on the roads is critical.”

Pennsylvania drivers in most passenger vehicles must protect children under 8 years of age with a properly fitting car seat or booster seat until your child outgrows it. However, car seats and seat belts are not required for trucks weighing more than 7,000 pounds. This means that drivers of some diesel versions of Chevrolet, GMC and Ford heavy-duty trucks, as well as the all-electric GMC Hummer EV and Chevrolet Silverado EV, do not have to wear seat belts for their newborn passengers.

McAndrew’s legislation, if enacted, would apply current seat belt and car seat laws to all trucks with passenger compartments. Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Lawrence) opposed the measure because of its broad application.

“Car manufacturers’ work vehicles are not designed to carry children, and I can say that with some of my real estate work as well as agriculture,” Bernstine said. “This is a well-intentioned bill that would ultimately not be helpful.”

The Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code defines a truck as a motor vehicle “used principally for the transportation of property,” including vehicles with removable seats. It is unclear whether this definition includes SUVs or whether a pickup truck used for commuting and other non-commercial purposes would meet this definition.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation did not respond to a request for clarification on this rule by press time.

The Bill adopted without debate by A Margin 124-78. All Democrats and about one-fifth of Republicans voted in favor.

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