2009-11-27 / Top Stories

New Child Passenger Safety Law In Effect

Commissioner David J. Swarts of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) has reminded motorists about the new child passenger safety law that is in effect.

The law, which was signed by Governor David A. Paterson on August 26, 2009, requires children under the age of 8 to be restrained by a child restraint system in a motor vehicle. It will take the place of the current law, which requires children under the age of 7 to be restrained by a child restraint system.

"Protecting our youngest passengers who cannot protect themselves has always been on the forefront of our safety issues," said Swarts. "This new legislation is another step to ensure their safety and lower the number of needless injuries and fatalities in this age group."

New York joins more than 21 other states requiring children under the age of 8 to be restrained by a child restraint system in a motor vehicle. An appropriate child restraint system is one which meets the child's height and weight as recommended by the manufacturer. Depending on the size of the child, the restraint system may be a child passenger safety seat or a booster seat. The vehicle's safety belts alone are not defined as a child restraint system.

In 2008 more than 6,300 children under age 9 were injured in car crashes in New York State. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of unintentional injuries and deaths for children.

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