Topeka — A bill requiring most children to wear seat belts or use safety seats while riding in motor vehicles cleared the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday.
The committee's voice vote sent the measure to the entire House. The Senate approved the bill last month.
A similar measure strengthening the state's Child Passenger Safety Act failed in the House last year, but no one testified against this year's version during a committee hearing Monday.
Under the bill, children aged 4 through 7 would have to ride in special booster seats if they weigh 80 pounds or less or are 4-foot-9 or shorter. All other passengers under 18 would have to wear seat belts.
State law currently requires children under 4 to ride in safety seats, while those 4 through 13 must wear seat belts. There's an exception if the number of children in a vehicle exceeds the number of seat belts or spaces for safety seats.
The bill also would increase the $20 fine for violations to $60.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has endorsed the bill.
"The governor supports doing what we can to make sure our children are well-protected," said spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran. "She would absolutely sign it."
Child passenger safety is SB 329.