Children between 4 and 7 years of age are required to be restrained in appropriate child safety restraint systems when riding in motor vehicles under terms of new legislation that took effect March 27, according to Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece).
Reilich said he supported the measure that was approved in 2004 by the state Legislature and Gov. George Pataki.
According to Reilich, the new measure requires children, when in rear seats, to be placed in child restraint systems that meet applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. The former law stipulated only children less than 4 years of age had to be in the special seating.
"Children are much safer when they are restrained in child restraint systems that are appropriate for their height and weight," Reilich said.
Reilich said safety-conscious parents often are not aware of the need for booster seats, or the dangers their children face when improperly restrained in adult seat belts. He said belts designed to fit adults will ride up and over the stomachs of children while adult shoulder belts cut across their necks. In crashes, this faulty arrangement could cause serious injury or death to children.
Violators face fines of between $25 and $100 for violations of the new measure.