New York has and continues to be very proactive in the enforcement of seatbelt laws. In fact, in 1984 New York was the first state to enact mandatory seatbelt laws. Since that time, New York has stayed ahead of the curve in the enforcement of safety regulations for seatbelts, and has actively provided notice to the public regarding the importance of seatbelts. For instance, we are sure at some point you have seen a commercial or a billboard with the slogan “Click it or ticket.” This was prepared by the New York State Seat Belt Enforcement Initiative.

Although the laws involving young children and car seats are not as publicized, they are far more strict and stringent.

If an adult does not wear a seatbelt, he/she can be issued a fine by a police officer, but no points are added to his/her driving record. On the other hand, the failure to properly secure a child in a vehicle can result in a fine, as well as 3 points on the driving record for each violation. VTL §1229-c.1–2.

So what are the rules?

For new parents, or future parents, here are the laws in New York.

•Children under the age of 4 must be restrained in a federally approved car seat.

•ALL children under the age of 8 years old MUST be in some form of federally approved car seat or booster seat.

•A vehicle’s seat belts do NOT count as a car seat or booster seat. Seat belts are not designed for children under 4’9″.

The particulars of the restraint system — whether a car seat or booster seat – depend entirely on a child’s height and weight. The Governor’s task force recommends that all children be in some form of safety restraint system until reaching 4’9” or weighing 100 pounds.

If you are unsure what safety restraint system is required or recommended for your child, there are very helpful resources out there.

A list of recommendations are provided here for what type of car seat should be used.

For help on properly installing a car seat, helpful tips can be found here.

A list of recent recalls can also be found here.  

Also, if you would like your car seat or booster seat checked for compliance or want help with securing the car seat, you can make an appointment at a local police department for an inspection.  A list of locations by county can be found here.

At LaMarche Safranko Law we represent people who are injured in automobile accidents. By buckling up and properly securing your children we hope you stay safe on the roads.