Pennsylvania’s newest child safety-seat law went into effect on August 12, 2016. However, for the first year, police were directed to issue warnings only for any violation. That one year grace period is now over, and police are expected to start issuing fines. Violators face a fine of $75 plus costs and fees.
The law requires a child younger than two years of age to be secured in a rear-facing car seat. A rear-facing car seat is to be used until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the car seat manufacturer. Experts say facing children toward the back of the car dramatically lowers their risk of death or serious injury in the event of a crash.
PA Child Passenger Safety Law Basics:
- Children from birth up to age 8 must be secured in an appropriate car seat or booster seat.
- A child younger than two years of age should ride rear-facing until the child outgrows the maximum weight and/or height limits of the car seat.
- Children ages 8-18 must be secured in a vehicle’s seat belt system.
Best Practice Guidelines for Child Passenger Safety:
- Keep children 1 to 3 years of age in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible – it’s the safest way to ride.
- Children older than 8 years of age and under 4ft. 9 in. tall should use a booster seat.
- The back seat is the safest place for children under the age of 13.
- Families are advised to have their child’s car seat checked by a CPS technician for proper installation and use.
According to statistics, child safety seats reduce the risk of injury by up to 82 percent and reduce the risk of death by 28 percent. It is important to follow Pennsylvania's car seat regulations to keep your child as protected as possible while riding as a passenger in a vehicle.