TRENTON (WPVI) -- New Jersey's new child safety seat regulations take effect on Tuesday, September 1.
With car crashes the leading cause of death and injury for children under the age of 14, the first-in-the-nation law is intended to keep kids safer in the car.
"These new regulations will ensure that New Jersey remains a leader in child passenger safety," said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs and government relations for AAA Northeast in New Jersey. "The new law, which requires parents to adhere to American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for use of child safety seats, is the easiest way to keep New Jersey's children safe on the road."
Under the new law:
--Children under age 2 and weighing less than 30 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat that is equipped with a five-point harness.
--Children ages 2 to 4 and weighing up to 40 pounds must be secured in a child-safety seat equipped with a five-point harness, either rear-facing (up to the height and weight limits of the seat) or forward-facing.
--Children ages 4 to 8 and less than 57 inches tall (4-foot-9) must be secured in a forward-facing seat equipped with a five-point harness (up to the height and weight limits of the seat) or in a booster seat.
--Children ages 8 to 17 must use the vehicles seat belt. The safest place for children under 13 is the back seat.
When used properly, car seats are the best way to protect your child on the road. With four in five car seats used incorrectly, AAA urges parents to have their children's seats checked by a nationally certified child passenger safety technician to ensure that the seat is installed correctly, being used properly, free of defects, and not recalled or missing parts.
Parents can find a child safety seat inspection station or event near them at SeatCheck.org.
AAA Northeast in New Jersey provides automotive, travel, insurance, financial and educational services to its nearly 400,000 members in Essex, Morris and Union Counties.