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People push for stricter car seat laws in Nebraska, new bill being discussed

Samantha Dallatezza has her one-year-old son Jude buckled in a rear facing car seat; her four-year-old son, Liam, is in a forward facing car seat.

Hundreds of kids in Nebraska are hurt every year in car crashes.

Some say it has a lot to do with the car seats they're in, but not everyone agrees the bill does everything it promises to.

From the time Samantha Dallatezza buckles her kids in to getting them out of the car she takes every precaution she can.

Dallatezza said, "If I can do anything to keep my children safe I will."

Dallatezza's youngest child is Jude.

"He is almost a year and he is rear facing. He will stay that way until he's two or maybe even longer."

That's the age that's being proposed in a new bill in Nebraska.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, proper use of child safety seats reduces the risk of a death by 71 percent for babies and 54 percent for toddlers.

The current law is that kids stay in some sort of child safety seat until they're six years old. However, LB42 is proposing that kids stay in booster seats instead of a seat belt until they're eight unless a doctor says otherwise."

Christa Thelen said, "In the rear facing the child absorbs the crash force through their whole body."

Thelen is a child passenger safety specialist. She says the bill would help prevent kids from suffering head, neck and spinal cord injuries in a crash.

Thelen said, "When they graduate out of the car seats too soon into a seat belt they run the risk of having the seat belt go over their abdomen."

Lorinda Jefferson says she supports the rear facing proposal, but not the one about booster seats.

Jefferson said, "I kind of think that they would be perfectly safe as long as they're restrained in a seat belt."

Cindy King says she feels the same way.

"I don't agree with that. I think it's too old because they are larger now."

King says she kept her kids in a booster seat until they were six and that they never experienced any problems switching to a seat belt.

Thelen says several states are already following the rules proposed in the new bill.

Nebraska senators are still talking about the bill and it could go to a committee soon.

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