New York Law Requires Rear-Facing Safety Seats for Children 2 and Under

On November 1, 2019, a new child safety seat law went into effect in New York. The mandate requires that children 2 years of age and younger remain in a rear-facing car seat. Under the previous law, children had to be in these types of restraints only until they were 12 months old.

High Number of Child Deaths in Car Accidents

The new law is meant to increase child safety in vehicles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, nearly 675 children 12 years of age and younger died in car accidents. Of those, 35% were not properly restrained. The agency said that putting a child in a car seat can reduce the risk of injury by up to 82%.

Increased Safety for Infants and Toddlers

Rear-facing car seats can offer better protection for babies and toddlers. Youngsters have disproportionately large heads in comparison to their bodies. If the vehicle they’re in collides with another car, the impact could propel them forward, causing their spine to curve forward and their head to jolt. When the child is in a rear-facing seat, much of the energy from the impact is absorbed into the back of the restraint.

Using Rear-Facing Seats Until Child Meets Height & Weight Requirements

The new law requires that parents put their children in rear-facing seats until the age of 2 or until they reach the weight and height limits of the restraints. Many rear-facing safety seats accommodate children until they are 49 inches tall and 40 pounds. In situations where a child outgrows the seat before they are 2 years old, it’s recommended to put them in a forward-facing seat.

Traffic Citations for Failure to Comply

In New York, non-compliance with safety restraint laws is a primary offense. That means if a child isn’t in a proper seat and buckled up, officers could issue a ticket for a seatbelt violation. Fines for this type of citation range between $25 and $100 and could result in 3 driver license penalty points.

For Experienced Representation, Contact Gannes & Musico, LLP

If you received a ticket for a restraint violation in New York City, you may be able to fight it. Rather than go through this process alone, allow our skilled attorneys to provide effective defense every step of the way.

For a free initial case evaluation, call us at (877) 803-2603 or contact us online.