Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death of children over the age of six months in the United States. The proper use of child car seats is one of the simplest and effective methods available for protecting the lives of our young children in the event of a motor vehicle crash.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, In 2011, child restraint use saved the lives of 263 children under the age of 5. In 2012, the number of children’s lives saved due to child restraint rose to 284. Research shows that child restrain use reduces the risk of death in car crashes by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4. Booster seats reduce the risk for serious injury by 45% for children ages 4 to 8 years. After age 8, seatbelts provide the best protection.
Legislation - P.L. 2015, c.50
The following recommendations will provide the safest way to transport your child according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additionally it will ensure compliance to the New Jersey Child Passenger Restraint Law. (Title 39:3-76.2a)
Any child under the age of 8 years old and a height of 57 inches shall be secured as follows in the rear seat of a motor vehicle:
- A child under the age of 2 years and 30 pounds shall be secured in a rear-facing seat equipped with a 5-point harness.
- A child under the age of 4 years and 40 pounds shall be secured as described in (a) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing seat, then in a forward-facing child restraint equipped with a 5-point harness.
- A child under the age of 8 and a height of 57 inches shall be secured as described in (a) or (b) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing or forwardfacing seat, then in a belt positioning booster seat.
- A child over 8 years of age or 57 inches in height must be properly secured by a seat belt.
- If there are no rear seats, the child shall be secured as described above in the front seat except that no child shall be secured in a rear-facing seat in the front seat of any vehicle that is equipped with an active passenger-side airbag. The aforementioned is acceptable if the airbag is de-activated.
- The law requires drivers of a passenger automobiles to secure children between 8 and 18 years old in a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt system.
Officer Jeff Scala of the Long Hill Township Police Department is a certified technician on Standardized Child Passenger Safety. The course was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Officer Jeff Scala is available to provide current information about child passenger safety, to educate and demonstrate the proper use of the car seat, and to assist parents and caregivers with any questions or concerns regarding the child passenger seat.
Long Hill Township Police Department offers free child passenger safety restraint checks. To schedule your inspection, please contact Officer Jeff Scala by calling 908-647-1800 ext. 509 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org