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New PA Law Requires Rear Facing Car Seats

Law Goes into Effect August 12th
Angelina M. Comunale Umstead

Attention All Parents: New State Law Requiring Rear-Facing Car Seats for Children Under 2 Goes Into Effect This Week

The new Pennsylvania law requiring motorists to make sure children under the age of 2 are traveling in a rear-facing child safety seat goes into effect this week. Beginning August 12, 2016, police are directed to issue warnings to violators of the new law for the first year. After that, motorists who violate the law will be required to pay $125 in fines, costs, and fees.

The law was signed by Governor Tom Wolf approximately 2 months ago and is designed to help protect small children in vehicles. It replaces a previous law that was much more vague and allowed children of all ages to ride in front-facing car seats. The new law is in line with a 2011 guideline published by the American Academy of Pediatrics which recommended that children ride rear-facing in vehicles until at least age 2. Other studies have shown that children between the ages of 1 and 2 years old were up to five times safer riding rear-facing.

Pennsylvania is the fourth state in the country to enact this type of law, following California, New Jersey, and Oklahoma. Hopefully, it will help reduce the number of catastrophic injuries experienced by small children involved in motor vehicle crashes.