Effective November 24, 2009, “child-restraint systems” (car seats and booster seats for kids) are required for ALL CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 8 (that is, through age 7). The law previously required this only for kids less than 6 years of age (through age 5).
What does this mean for parents? Don’t throw away your 5-year old’s booster seat – he will need it for two more years now.
While we’re on the subject, here are the other “child-restraint” requirements in New York:
• All car seats or booster seats must be “appropriate” for the child, that is, they must meet the size and weight specifications of the manufacturer.
• Children under 4 generally must use a federally approved “car seat” (permanently affixed or affixed by a seat belt), unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds, in which case a booster seat as described below will suffice.
• Children ages 4 through 7 (or under 4 but weighing more than 40 pounds) must be restrained in a child-restraint system (booster seat, etc.) that meets the manufacturer’s height/weight recommendations.
I might as well complete this blog by telling you the adult restraint requirements in New York:
• All front seat passengers, regardless of age, must wear seatbelts (of course I mean this to include shoulder harnesses too, if available), but the driver is responsible (can be ticketed) only for unrestrained front seat passengers under age 16. Any older, and the passenger himself can be ticketed and fined.
• All backseat passengers under age 16 must wear seatbelts (but not required for 16 and older). The driver can be ticketed and fined for violating the under-16 rule.
Read the Vehicle and Traffic Law Section itself for the full scoop. Take some advice from this Syracuse area motor vehicle accidident lawyer: You should follow all these rules, and take it one step further: Buckle up in the backseat, even though it is not legally required if you are 16 or older. It can save your life or reduce your injuries in the event of a collision. Believe me. I have seen this first hand in my cases. Also, as I wrote about in my blog yesterday, if you are injured, and you are not wearing a seatbelt, your