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Big changes could be coming to car seat law in New York

Posted at 2:02 PM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 16:38:59-04

NEW YORK — Most toddlers under 2 will have to be secured in rear-facing car seats under legislation passed this week aiming to combat the leading cause of death for children.

State law does not currently have an age requirement for such restraints, reports.

The bill, which passed the assembly Monday, will require children under 2 be restrained in rear-facing car seats, unless that child meets certain weight and height requirements.

The weight and height requirements must exceed recommendations from the manufacturer of the particular rear-facing seat used, the bill states. In that case, the seat may be forward facing.

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children, the bill states.

It also sites The America Academy of Pediatrics, which says rear-facing seats address the risk of death during a crash by “supporting the child’s head and preventing the relatively large head from moving independently of the proportionately smaller neck.”

Children under 2 are 75 percent more likely to suffer injury if in a forward-facing seat, according to the bill, siting a 2007 study by the University of Virginia.

If signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the bill will go into effect on Nov. 1, 2019.

“Parents and drivers will have ample to time to learn about the change, and make their purchase decisions accordingly,” the bills states.