AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed House Bill 448 Saturday which would have required drivers to use rear-facing car seats for children under 2-years of age.
The bill was created by State Rep. Chris Turner from North Texas along with several other lawmakers. The bill stated that children should stay rear-facing in cars until age two unless they’re 40 inches and 40 pounds.
Currently, state law says children under eight years old need to be in a car seat, but it doesn’t specify what kind and how the child should be positioned.
“House Bill 448 is an unnecessary invasion of parental rights and an unfortunate example of over-criminalization,” wrote Gov. Abbott in his veto statement. ” Texas already compels drivers to use a car seat for a child under eight years of age.”
Abbott says it is unnecessary to “micromanage the parenting process.” He also claimed the bill would criminalize different parenting decisions by Texans.
Rep. Turner responded to Abbott’s veto of the bill.
“Unfortunately, Governor Abbott has chosen to ignore the experts and veto this needed legislation. Our car seat laws will continue to be outdated and inherently confusing for parents,” said Turner. “Additionally, this bill lessened the penalties on parents — but that common-sense reform also dies thanks to the governor’s veto.”
Turner added in his response that vetoing the bill “sends an irresponsible message.”