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New York Car and Booster Seat Laws

Posted in New York Law on November 24, 2021

New York Car and Booster Seat Laws

In the state of New York, over 100,000 people have to visit the hospital emergency room each year because of traffic accidents. Unfortunately, car accidents are also a leading cause of child deaths in the United States. That’s why child safety seat and booster seat laws were enacted: to help reduce the number of fatalities in car accidents.

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the car seat laws that apply in New York.

New York Laws

The state of New York requires all children eight and under to be restrained in an appropriate car or booster seat. An appropriate seat must meet federal safety standards. It must also be installed and used properly.

Parents need to understand the great risk of child injury if they choose to use a standard seatbelt or fail to use the safety seats properly. According to the CDC, more than 45% of infant and child safety seats are used improperly.

Front Seat Child Safety Laws

While many states prohibit transporting children under the age of five in the front seat, New York does not have such a law. Children are allowed to ride in whichever seat the parent selects, as long as they are riding with the appropriate safety restraints.

Be aware that many studies show that allowing children to ride in the front seat can be more dangerous for them if there is an accident, regardless of the safety seat they’re using.

Infant Car Seats

The state of New York requires that all children under 22 lbs or under 25 inches tall must ride in an infant safety seat. An infant car seat is designed to face backward and should only be installed in the back seat of a vehicle.

Convertible Car Seats

Some safety seats are designed to be used as a child grows. These seats can be used in the rear-facing position when the child is still an infant and converted to a normal car seat as the child grows.

Most convertible car seats can accommodate children up to 40 lbs in size. This type of seat can continue to be used in a rear-facing position for added safety, though it’s not required by law.

Child Booster Seats

A booster seat is a car seat for toddlers and young children. These are often used by children who are under 80 lbs and not yet large enough to use a regular seatbelt safely.

Many children use booster seats from the age of four through about eight, though some continue to use them longer. If a child is small in stature, they’re legally required to continue using a booster seat until they’ve reached at least 4’9” tall.

Built-In Car Seats

Some modern vehicles come equipped with built-in child safety seats. While these may be a great selling point for new parents, understand that each seat may not fully meet your individual needs, especially as your child grows.

What Happens If I Don’t Follow These Laws?

The state of New York takes car seat safety seriously and will issue fines to drivers who are not using car seats appropriately.

New York may also elect to penalize drivers by adding up to three points to their driver’s license for failure to observe the proper safety protocols.