New Jersey parents still have about a month to go shopping for car seats to accommodate several revisions to the Child Passenger Safety Law.
In May, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation to make vehicle travel safer for children. The new law is set to go into effect on Sept. 1.
The current law requires children under 8 years of age who weigh less than 80 pounds to be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back of the vehicle.
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Now, the law has stricter parameters: Infants and toddlers must remain in rear-facing car seats until they are 2 years old or 30 pounds, and older children over 8 years old or 57 inches must be fastened in booster seats.
Here are the specifics of the upcoming changes:
- Children under 2 years and 30 pounds must be fastened in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness.
- Children under 4 years and 40 pounds must remain in a rear-facing seat or a forward-facing seat with a five-point harness.
- Children under 8 years and 57 inches can remain in rear-facing or forward-facing seat or transition to a booster seat.
- Children over 8 years and 57 inches still need to be secured with a proper seat belt.
Failure of parents and caregivers to adhere to these new revisions will result in a fine, ranging from $50 to $75. Current fines for child safety violations are minimal, ranging from $10 to $25. Higher ticket prices will be instated to promote child safety as a top priority.
For more information about the new revisions, click here to visit the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety website.