The start of the new year will bring new laws for securing kids in vehicles

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Thanks to a bill passed by the Washington Legislature this year, there are big changes coming to how you must secure kids in your vehicle.

Beginning Jan. 1, children ages 2 and younger must ride in a rear-facing car seat and children 2 to 4 years old must be in a car seat with a harness.

The part of the new law that has gotten the most attention is a requirement that all kids over age 4 must ride in a booster seat until they are at least 4-feet-9-inches tall.

That’ll mean booster seats for many middle school-age students and even some high-schoolers.

Under current Washington law, only children under age 8 are required to use a car seat or booster seat.

There also is a provision that all children ages 13 years and younger must ride in the back seat, though that provision does have some wiggle room.

Washington’s new laws will be among the strictest in the nation and violators could face a citation.