SACRAMENTO – Keeping your child or children safe should not have to be a law, but many parents are unaware of the increased risks of turning their child’s car seat to a front-facing position too early. A new car seat law, which will be effective on January 1, 2017, requires that all children 2-years-old or younger remains in a rear-facing position. The California Highway Patrol officials, along with the Office of Traffic Safety estimate that rear-facing is 5 times safer than forward-facing. Children over 40 pounds or over 40 inches tall are excluded from this law.
The current law, which will otherwise remain the same requires that children under the age of 8-years-old are buckled into a car seat or booster seat in the backseat of the vehicle. Studies have shown that the rear middle seat is the safest in the case of a collision. Children who are 8-years-old or older or who are 4’9” or taller may use the vehicle seat belt If it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. If the fit is not proper, the child must remain in a booster seat or car seat.
Those who do not comply with the laws, are not only putting their child at additional risk in the case of a traffic collision, but are subjects to fines. For every child under 16-years-old who are not properly secured the driver; or parent, if in the vehicle can be fined over $500 and receive a point on their driving record.
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