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New Law Requires Children Under Two To Ride In Rear-Facing Car Seats

Highway Safety News | June 14th, 2016

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 1152, now Act 43, into law, which requires a child under 2 years of age be securely fastened in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system, which is to be used until the child outgrows the maximum weight and limits designated by the manufacturer.

The new law takes effect on August 12, 2016. Officers enforcing the law will give verbal warnings the first year. After that, each violation will carry a penalty of $75 in addition to costs and fees, increasing the total to $125 according to PennDOT.

Prior to this, the law did not require small children to be rear-facing in the passenger restraint system.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in a policy update published in Pediatrics in April 2011, advised parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing cars seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.