New Jersey’s New Car Seat Law went into effect last month with some of the most restrictive rules in the nation on how kids should be buckled into vehicles. Listed below is a recap of the new law:
- Birth to age 2: A child under age 2 and under 30 lbs. must be in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness.
- Ages 2 to 4: A child under age 4 and 40 lbs. must remain in either a rear-facing or a forward-facing car seat with a five-point harness in the back seat of a vehicle.
- Ages 4 to 8: Children must remain in a car seat or a booster seat in the back seat of a vehicle until they are at least 8 years old or 57 inches tall. Once they reach that age or height, they can use the regular adult seat belts.
- Ages 8 and above: A child age 8 and older can sit in a regular seat using a seat belt. However, the New Jersey law does not specify when children over age 8 can move from the back seat to the front seat. The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children not sit in the front seat until age 12.
- Front seats: If a vehicle doesn’t have a back seat (like a pick-up truck or a sports car), New Jersey’s law says a child can ride in the front seat in a car seat or a booster seat. The vehicle’s passenger-side airbag must be disabled or shut off if a baby or toddler is using a rear-facing car seat strapped into the front seat of the vehicle.
- Fines: The fines for violating NJ’s car seat law were $10-$25. Under the revised legislation, they are going up to $50-$75.
- Exemptions: You can no longer get out of a ticket by claiming in court that you were following the manufacturer’s weight and age recommendations for your child’s car seat.
- It does not matter if you are from out of state and driving in NJ, the New Jersey’s New Car Seat Law applies to everyone driving in the Garden State.
For more information http://www.nj.gov/oag/hts/childseats/childseatchecks.html