New Jersey Updates Child Safety Seat Regulations for the First Time in Thirty Years

By Joe Messa

Sep 01

Earlier this year, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law the first new legislation in 30 years regarding car seats and booster seats for infants and toddlers. The legislation officially goes into effect today (September 1, 2015) and may effect the way some parents and care givers utilize child safety seats.

Current New Jersey law requires that all children under the age of 8, or weighing under 80lbs, must sit in the back seat of a vehicle in a car seat or booster seat. Children under the age of 8 but above the weight restriction, and children between 8 and 18, must only be wearing a regular seat belt.

Christie’s new requirements are broken down as thus:

Infant to Age 2

  • Under 30lbs – the car seat must remain rear-facing in the back seat of the vehicle and be fitted with a five-point harness.
  • Above 30lbs – the car seat can be faced forward.

Ages 2 to 4

  • Under 40lbs – the child must remain in a either a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat in the back seat of the vehicle
  • Above 40lbs – the car seat can be switched out for a booster seat.

Ages 4 to 8

  • Under 57″ – the child must remain in a booster seat in the back of the vehicle.
  • Above 57″/40lbs – the child is allowed to sit with a regular seat belt in the back seat of the car

Under new legislation, children under the age of 8 are only permitted to sit in the front seat of a vehicle when that vehicle has no back seat, like a pick-up truck or sports car. In these situations, the car seat/booster seat rules still apply. Also important – the passenger side airbag must be disable if a rear-facing car seat is placed in the front seat of a car.

With the new rules also came new penalties. Before today, violations of child safety seat laws resulted in fines between $10 and $25. Starting today, non-compliance will result in fines between $50 and $75.

New Jersey and Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys

The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates know that most of the time, parents do all they can to keep their children safe. Often times, professional negligence gets in the way and we are left to deal with the physical and emotional consequences. These new child safety laws in New Jersey will surely serve to keep children safer in cars, but only if other drivers remain responsible and car-seat manufacturers are honest. If your child has been injured in an accident involving another driver, a defective car-seat, or any other type of personal injury, contact the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates. Our extremely skilled team of attorneys is experienced in cases regarding injuries to children. Call toll-free at 877-MessaLaw or submit a free online inquiry.

Let the attorneys at Messa & Associates earn you and your family the justice that you deserve.


About the Author

Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More