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New Car Seat Law Soon to Take Effect in PA

September 30, 2016

If you travel with little ones in your car, then you need to know about a new Pennsylvania law.

Starting in August, all children under two must be riding in a rear-facing car seat. Pennsylvania is the fourth state to enact the law. It’s already in effect in New Jersey.

Critics have long said the current law is too vague, never detailing which direction to face, only the age required for a car seat. But for those tots under the age of two who haven’t outgrown the height and weight requirements of the car seat manufacturer, they’ll soon have to be in a rear facing car seat.

It’s a Pennsylvania law that could cost you a $125 fine.

“Even without the law, we always make sure the kids are facing backwards,” Jim Su of Bala Cynwyd said.

But the direction has never been set in stone. Until now.

Critics have long argued current state law only specified a child under four be strapped into a car seat leaving everything else up to the parents’ discretion.

Action News spoke with Erica Sciolla, a child passenger safety tech at Weisman Children’s Hospital in New Jersey, one of three states abiding this law.

“The child is five times less likely to have a severe or fatal injury traveling rear facing under the age of two, then they would be forward facing,” Sciolla said.

One of the reasons is toddlers’ bones are still soft and haven’t fully hardened.

But several parents welcome this change.

“I think it’s for the better, as long as it keeping my kids safe,” parent Danielle Lelaj said.

In the law’s first year, only warnings will be cited to drivers. It goes into effect in 60 days.

Photo by kdshutterman.