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New Jersey’s Child Passenger Safety Laws: What You Need to Know!
Riding in automobiles can be dangerous for young children, especially if they are not properly secured. In order to ensure the safety of child passengers, New Jersey passed new laws that went into effect on September 1, 2015. The purpose of these new laws is to protect and enhance the safety of children when riding in automobiles.
The New Child Passenger Laws
A brief overview of the New Jersey Child Passenger Restraint Law (Title 39:3-76.2a) that all New Jersey parents, guardians and caretakers should know about is described below:
- A child under 2 years of age who weighs less than 30 pounds must be secured in the back seat of a vehicle in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness.
- A child under 4 years of age and who weighs 40 pounds must be secured as described in (a) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing seat, then in a forward-facing child restraint equipped with a 5-point harness.
- A child under the age of 8 and a height of 57 inches must be secured as described in (a) or (b) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing or forward-facing seat, then in a belt positioning booster seat.
- A child over 8 years of age or 57 inches in height must be properly secured by a seat belt.
If your vehicle does not have any rear or back seats, your child must be secured as described above in the front seat. However, you cannot secure your child in a rear-facing seat in the front seat of your vehicle if it is equipped with an active passenger-side airbag. If your vehicle has the option of de-activating the passenger-side airbag, then the law allows you to secure your child in the front seat of your car in a rear-facing car seat.
If you do not abide by any section of this new child passenger safety law, you will be fined up to $75. In the past, you were able to argue that you were simply following the manufacturer’s guidelines. However, the new provision has gotten rid of this option of getting out of a ticket.
Unfortunately, even if you follow all of the rules and regulations regarding safety, you or your child may nevertheless get seriously injured in an automobile accident.
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident that was caused by he negligent or reckless actions of another party, you need to make it a priority to look for an experienced attorney who will work hard to help you seek the damages from the parties responsible for your injuries. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a New Jersey car accident attorney, please call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404.