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Changes Coming to Child Seat Laws in New York

Unlike other some other states in the nation, New York has no requirement when it comes to age and rear-facing child seats. If a new bill becomes law, children under 2 years of age would have to be placed in a rear-facing seat or drivers would face a citation.

Studies have shown that rear-facing is the safest position in a vehicle for infants and small toddlers. When a child in this position is involved in a car accident, they are less likely to experience head and neck injuries. Their safety, say experts, is increased. A child, according to the bill, would be able to switch to front-facing before the age of two if they met certain height and weight requirements.

Several studies are cited in the bill. These include one from the American Academy of Pediatrics that showed a rear-facing seat prevents the head from moving separately from the neck. It also cites a study from the University of Virginia that found children under 2 facing forward were 75 percent more likely to suffer injury.

If the law is signed by the governor, it will be put into effect November 1, 2019. At that time, officers would be able to cite drivers of cars for child-seat law violations if they were found to have small children facing forward, or bigger children not in a car seat at all. Currently, children under 4 must be restrained in a child safety seat, and children under 8 need to be restrained in systems made for larger children.

If you have been cited for child seat violations in New York, reach out to our team. We will talk with you about your ticket and advise you of your legal options.