New Jersey’s car seat and child passenger law has been updated for the first time in more than 30 years. The changes go into effect September 1, 2015.
- Up to 2 years old or 30 pounds – Children under 2 years and under 30 pounds must be in a rear-facing seat with a five-point harness, even if that means their legs are squished.
- 2 and 3 years old, and under 40 pounds – Once child turns two or reaches 30 pounds, he can stay in the rear-facing seat or switch to a forward facing cat seat. They must ride in a car seat until they reach 4 years old or 40 pounds.
- 4 through 7 years, or under 57 inches tall – When you child turns 4 or reaches 40 pounds you have the option of staying with the car seat as long as it fits or switching to a booster seat. Children are required to ride in a booster seat until they are 57 inches tall, or until they turn 8 if they haven’t gotten that tall yet. The purpose of the booster seat is so that the seat belt will fit properly.
- 8 years and older – When your child turns 8, or reaches 57 inches tall, she is free to ride as an adult would, using the regular seatbelt without any special child-safety equipment.
No Back Seat
If you do not have a backseat, you can put the car seat or booster seat in the front seat in New Jersey. However, you must disable the passenger-side airbag if you are using a rear-facing seat.
If Your Child is Injured in an Accident
We know that most parents would never dream of taking a drive without strapping their kid in safely, but we also know things don’t always go as planned. You need to know that if, for some reason, your child was not in a car seat or booster seat and was injured in an accident, you can still receive full compensation.
New Jersey law prohibits failure to be secured in a car seat or booster seat from being admitted as evidence in a civil suit. It cannot be used against you or your child.
If your child or someone you love has been injured, find the right accident attorney today.