New Jersey parents, and dealerships that make them available to rental and loaner car users, should be aware of several revisions to New Jersey’s Child Passenger Safety Law. In May, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that revised the Child Passenger Safety Law to make vehicle travel safer for children. The new provisions went into effect on September 1, 2015.
Previously, the law required children under 8 years of age, who weigh less than 80 pounds, to be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back of the vehicle. The revisions implement stricter parameters. Here are the specifics of the changes:
•Children under 2 years and 30 pounds must be fastened in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness.•Children under 4 years and 40 pounds must remain in a rear-facing car seat or a forward-facing car seat with a five-point harness.•Children under 8 years and 57 inches can remain in a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat or transition to a booster seat.•Children over 8 years and 57 inches still must be secured with a proper seat belt.
Failure of parents and caregivers to adhere to these new revisions will result in fines, ranging from $50 to $75. Current fines for child safety violations are minimal, ranging from $10 to $25. Higher penalties will be instituted to promote child safety as a top priority. Dealers may want to let their rental and loaner car customers know about the new revisions to the law.