New Jersey Car Seat Laws…What You Need to Know

Using a modern car seat to keep babies and young children safe in the case of an accident is critical. Forbes magazine states that the top cause of death for children under 14 is car accidents. If you are a New Jersey parent, you should have a thorough understanding of this state’s car seat laws.

Call (201) 944-9200 to speak to an auto accident attorney.

NJ Car Seat Law Evolution

The old New Jersey law mandated that all children ride in the rear of a vehicle in a child safety seat or booster seat if the child was under 80 pounds, and under the age of eight. Children who were under the age of eight and weighed more than 80 pounds, as well as children from the ages of eight to 18, only had to wear a standard seat belt.

According to some legislators in New Jersey, the old law was vague and out of date. The new law, called An Act Concerning Child Passenger Restraint Systems, establishes new standards for children based upon their weight, age and height.

The new law’s standards are as follows:

  • Children who are under the age of two and are less than 30 pounds in weight must be in a car seat facing the rear.
  • Children who are under the age of four and are less than 40 pounds in weight also must be in a rear facing car seat, until the weight or age of the child is more than is recommended by the safety instructions on the car seat.
  • Children who are four through seven must use a booster seat in the rear of a vehicle until they are eight, or they are 57 inches in height.

The law does not state when a child over the age of eight may begin to sit in the front seat.

Fines and Punishments for Car Seat Violations in New Jersey

Parents who do not comply with the current New Jersey car seat law may be fined from $50 to $75. This is $40 more than the old fine for a car seat violation. The new law also will not exempt parents who claim they are following the car seat manufacturer’s instructions.

Common Car Seat Mistakes

Be sure you are complying with the new New Jersey car seat law, and also avoid these errors:

  • Using a car seat that is expired
  • Not restraining the child securely enough in the car seat
  • Not adjusting the seat as the child grows
  • Letting your child sit up front – no child should ride in the front before the age of 12
  • Installing the car seat improperly

If Your Child Is Hurt in a Car Accident

Be certain your child is secured in your car every time you drive. Still, even using a car seat properly will not always prevent injuries when there is a serious car accident. If your child is hurt, you should talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as you can.

A New Jersey attorney experienced in car accident claims can be invaluable in the claims process. Auto accident injuries can be serious and life threatening, sometimes requiring extensive (and expensive) medical care.

Call the Khorozian Law Group today if your child has been injured in a car accident (201) 944-9200.

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