Assemblywoman Smith Child Safety Bill Signed into Law

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA — The child safety effort led by Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) to prevent childhood unintentional injuries has been signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom this week. Assembly Bill (AB) 1336 marks Assemblywoman Smith’s second bill signed into law and updates the list of childhood unintentional injury prevention issues that can be funded through the Kids Plates specialty vehicle license plate revenues. 

“All too often, we hear about the tragedies of children hurt or taken from us too early,” Assemblywoman Smith said. “Many of these incidents are unintentional, preventable injuries. The Kids Plates fund actively works to eradicate the leading cause of death and hospitalization of our children. I applaud the California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health, sponsors of our bill, for their longtime commitment to this cause. AB 1336 makes sure the unintentional injury cause list is comprehensive so we can continue to prioritize the safety of our children.

Proceeds from Kids Plates — license plates with a star, handprint, plus sign or heart shape used to personalize a person’s license plate — fund childhood unintentional injury prevention programs at the local level and statewide. The original list of childhood injury issues, which had been untouched since 1992, does not reflect all eight leading causes of childhood unintentional injury issues. With the Governor’s signing, AB 1336 adds the following issues to the list to receive Kids Plates funding:

  • Pedestrian safety
  • Misuse and access to prescription medications
  • Baby/infant sleep suffocation
  • Children left in parked cars and being backed over in the driveway and parking lots
  • Sports injuries

“Governor Newsom’s signing of Assemblywoman Smith’s AB 1336 makes sure the state’s funding support for childhood injury prevention covers all of the leading causes of childhood unintentional injury, not just the smaller list of injury causes identified back in 1992, when the Kids Plates specialty license plate program was created,” said Catherine Barankin, Executive Director of California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health. “Without this bill, children’s safety efforts focused on pedestrian, sports, poisoning and kids trapped in cars, for example, were left out of the state’s child safety efforts. Assemblywoman Smith’s bill fills out known leading causes of childhood injury deaths, so the state can help fund prevention programs. This new law change will save kids’ lives.”

“Without this bill, literally hundreds of children would continue to die each year due to preventable injuries,” said Steve Barrow, co-chair of the statewide effort to end unintentional injury as the leading cause of death and hospitalization. “This seemingly small act of the legislature and Governor will protect many children from preventable injury harm.” 

AB 1336 will take effect on January 1, 2020.

Assemblywoman Christy Smith represents California’s 38th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Santa, Simi Valley, Agua Dulce, Castaic, Santa Susana Knolls and North San Fernando Valley.

CONTACT: Danni.Wang@asm.ca.gov, (661) 286-1565