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Car Rental Company Has New Safety Seat System

January 06, 2002

A new system to anchor child safety seats is being offered by Avis Rent A Car System Inc. at its rental sites in more than 40 cities, including Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla.

The system, called Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, or LATCH, requires metal anchor bars to be installed in back seats, to which the child seat can be strapped. Federal law requires all cars manufactured after Sept. 1 this year to be equipped with LATCH, which is designed to provide a more secure and easier-to-use mounting.

Avis spokesman Ted Deutsch said the company finished training its employees and installing the system last month. He said it should be available by advance request.

In another change affecting families with small children, a new California state law that took effect Jan. 1 requires children to ride in a car or booster seat that meets federal safety standards until they are 6 years old or weigh at least 60 pounds. Previously the cutoff was age 4 or 40 pounds. Fines increased from $50 to $100 for first offenses and from $100 to $250 for second offenses.

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