Brickbat: You Must Be This Tall


Starting in January, the state of Washington will require booster seats  for all children until they reach 4 ft. 9 in. in height when they are traveling in vehicles. That means many children will have to use booster seats until they are around 12.

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  1. What if a kid never grows past 4 ft. 9 in? Do they need a booster seat when they are adult drivers?

    1. How about people with dwarfism too?

    2. I know several adult women below that height

    3. Nope. The requirement only applies to folks that are both under 4’9″ and under 13 years old.

    4. does that include school buses? asking for a friend…

      1. Green vinyl with thin foam padding underneath is magic.

      2. School buses belong to the State. As long as children are in the hands of the State, the State is happy.

      3. True story- my step dad was a school bus driver and an alcoholic. He was pulled over one day while driving a bus full of kids and weaving all over the road. He went to court and they suspended his license except for work!

  2. How tall do you have to be to ride in the back of a pickup truck?

    1. As I understand it, most states prohibit people from riding in the bed of a pickup regardless of size/age.

      1. -1 Subaru Brat

        1. Brat

          Now THAT’S old school! So disappointed they changed the name to Baja.

  3. My mom is 4’9″.

    1. Tell me more…


    2. My adult daughter is 4’9″. She shops (buys weed) in Spokane. She’ll need a booster seat crossing the state line.

      1. Unless you’re counting a twelve year-old as an “adult”, no, she won’t. The law only applies to folks under 13.

        1. In that case, why? Do they think that 13 years is old enough to die? Don’t they care about anyone who’s past being a tween? Either way, those heartless bastards should be forced to ride in booster seats until they see the error of their ways.

  4. I’m sure officials will be absolutely stunned at the lack of compliance with this one. A lot of child endangerment cases are on the way. Or else, this will be one of those laws that is ignored by LEOs unless they really want to punish someone.

  5. Arbitrary rules are always the best rules.

  6. My daughter is 11 and I’ve let her ride in the front seat since she was 10.

    1. As did I when my daughters were young; but then I just learned [from article earlier here earlier this week] that I probably could have been charged for molestation because I changed their diapers when they were babies.

  7. The photo in the linked article shows kids playing with tablets in the car. My God, those things become lethal missiles in the event of a crash! What good does it do to save a child with a booster seat only to have xir decapitated by a flying electronic device? BAN HANDHELD ELECTRONICS IN CARS!!

    1. You think that’s bad…. that kid’s head is only attached by a thin neck! In an accident, that thing could go flying! Ban kids in cars….

      No, wait… let’s be reasonable about this. No need to ban the whole kid. Just the head will do.

      See… Science! Problem solved!

  8. Height is a more rational criterion than age.

    1. Let’s finish that sentence-

      Height is a more rational criterion than age when limiting the freedoms of people.

      1. I am violating the law by allowing my 4’7″ son ride without a child car seat.

        1. So my ’69 Mustang convertible, which came with just lap belts as shoulder harness was optional, is illegal in VA or just illegal for transporting kids? The youngest is 21 so maybe I’m okay.

    2. And if you never get taller than 4’9″, you will have to procure a booster seat for driving; that will also necessitate pedal extensions. Or might you just not qualify for a license?

      Every time someone says “there oughta be a law” and especially when “it’s for the children” we should beat and stone them to death.

      1. you mean there oughta be a law about that?

        1. No, just a very strongly held social norm. Like butt pig’s national service.

        2. No, but divine retribution would be appropriate. May anyone who says “there oughta be a law” be struck by lightning.

      2. “Something else I’m getting tired of… there’s all this stupid bullshit that we have to listen to all the time about children.

        It’s all you hear in this country… children, “help the children!” “what about the children?” “save the children!” You know what I say? Fuck the children! Fuck ‘em! They’re getting entirely too much attention! And I know what you’re thinking, you say “Jesus, he’s not gonna attack children is he?” Yes he is! He’s going to attack children! And remember, this is Mr. Conductor talking; I know what I’m talking about! I also know all you single dads and soccer moms who think you’re such fucking heroes aren’t gonna like this, but somebody’s gotta tell you for your own good, your children are overrated and overvalued. You’ve turned them into little cult objects, you have a child fetish, and it’s not healthy! Don’t give me that weak shit “well, I love my children!” Fuck you! Everybody loves their children, doesn’t make you special. John Wayne Gacy loved his children… kept them all right out on the yard near the garage. That’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is this constant mindless yammering in the media, this neurotic fixation that somehow, everything, EVERYTHING has to be revolved around children. It’s completely out of balance.” – George Carlin

        1. Carlin was a genius; would love to hear him take on the “woke” crowd of today.

      3. you will have to procure a booster seat for driving […]

        Only if they’re driving below the age of 13.

        Seriously folks, I know that Reason didn’t quote that part, but if it sounds that stupid, you should probably verify before spreading more misinformation.

        1. Escher, That’s the stupidity of the law. What’s the difference in safety of a 4’8″ 12-year old, and a 4’8″ 14-year old, or even an adult. If the reason for the law is the person is too short to safety ride in the front seat, what does age have to do with it?

          1. That’s the stupidity of the law.

            I’m not arguing the law isn’t stupid.

            I’m pointing out that the posters who are going “lol, this will impact short adults” are misinformed. Criticisms of the law are a lot more biting when they’re accurate.

        2. Exactly, and what would you expect “safety” regulations based on someone’s height to lead to? It has nothing to do with age, other than the government ability to arbitrarily define “child” as someone below the age of 13. I can still remember before cars came with seatbelts…the first I saw was in a Chevy Corvair [not that they did much good] and I asked my father “what’s this thing for?” But of course government never creeps, right?

          1. I have no expectations regarding this law, or others like it.

            What I do have, however, is impatience with strawman arguments.

            If you think the law is bad, argue that it’s bad. But if you have to make-up shit about it to argue it’s bad, then your’e an idiot.

        3. I’m guessing you don’t have much of a sense for nuance, parody, or hyperbole? I thought that is what is blog is all about…

  9. Gettin’ into your booster seat
    From your big boy head to your big boy feet
    Gettin’ into your booster seat
    From your big boy head to your big boy feet

  10. This is a nice government-mandated revenue stream for the likes of Graco and Chicco.

  11. Washington State: Doing it’s best to outdo California since 1889.

    1. In 1883 Washington’s legislature gave women the vote but in 1886 the Territorial Supreme Court abolished it using an early form of the rational basis test. Women didn’t get the vote again until 1910, but the state loves to proclaim it was the second state to grant women suffrage.

  12. As if the police need another reason to pull people over on a whim.

    1. Child small for his age not in a booster seat felony.

  13. I was kinda surprised that this is news. Something like a dozen or more other states as well as, I believe a few, other nations already require something similar if not identical.

  14. So, a 4 ft 6 in 12 year old can ride every rollercoaster and thrill ride at Disneyland, and even drive an Autopia car alone, but has be in a booster seat in Washington? The legislators in Olympia are second only to those in Seattle…

  15. It’s about limiting adult contact with children. It’s in the interest of the Total State to restrict access to children only to parents and government officials such as teachers. If you can’t transport a child unless your car is equipped with these seats, that complicates and removes spontaneity from interactions between children and grandparents, aunts and uncles and other family members, family friends, the child’s friends, etc. Only parents will invest in the booster seats, and only the right size for their own kids. Anyone with a child in their car without one can be stopped by police so their interaction with the child can interrupted.

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