Earlier this year, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation which changes the way parents and care takers must use car seats in the state of New Jersey; it will go into effect on September 1, 2015. Here’s how the revised law will work according to each age group:
Infant to age 2:
- Car seats must remain rear-faced in the vehicle if the child is under 30 lbs. and under the age of 2. The car seat also has to have a five-point harness.
- Once the child has exceeded the weight and age limited, the car seat can be faced forward.
Ages 2 to 4:
- Children under the age of 4 or under 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.
- Once the child has exceeded the weight or age limited, they can switch over to a booster seat.
Ages 4 to 8:
- Children under the age of 8 or height requirement of 57 inches tall must remain in the back of the vehicle in a booster seat.
- Once the child has exceeded the weight and height limited they are eligible to use a regular seat belt.
When can my child sit in the front seat?
- A child can sit in the front seat of a vehicle if that vehicle does not have a back seat – such as a pick-up truck or a sports car. However, the car seat and booster seat regulations still apply (i.e. Car seats must remain rear-faced in the vehicle if the child is under 30 lbs. and under the age of 2).
- Also, the vehicle’s passenger-side airbag must be disabled if a rear-facing car seat is strapped into the front seat of the vehicle.
What if I don’t comply with the law?
- Those who don’t follow the new laws will face fines ranging from $50 to $75 beginning in September. Before the revisions, the fines were only $10 to $25.