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New Car Seat Regulations Aimed At Improving Safety For Young Passengers In New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- New child safety seat regulations will go into effect in New Jersey on Tuesday.

The stricter rules change how parents should position their children in car seats and booster seats.

Hannah Breslin told CBS2's Elise Finch that she always makes sure her 1-year-old twins are properly buckled into their car seats before she starts driving.

She said she feels safer with them facing away from the windshield, even though it poses other problems.

"It limits your visibility to them, like I can't see in this rearview mirror what they're doing, so people have issues with that, so I understand and also them getting very fussy facing backwards," Breslin said.

Until now, a parent could choose to have their 1-year-old face forward in their car seat as long as they were over 20 lbs.

The new law requires that all children who are under 2 or weigh less than 30 lbs, be secured in rear facing car seats with a five point harness.

"If you have that forward motion that throws their head forward, that's going to put significant stress on their neck and their spine, so you're going to see much more dangerous neck and spinal injuries if you turn your child around too soon," AAA Spokesperson Cathleen Lewis said.

"A lot of people won't change unless someone makes them change, so the law is needed," Nakia Johnson said.

The new law also requires children between 2 and 4-years-old weighing up to 40-lbs to be in a rear or forward facing car seat equipped with a five-point harness.

Children ages 4 to 8 and under 4'9" must be in a forward facing car seat equipped with a five point harness or booster seat.

Police officers and firefighters across the state are ready to help parents and caregivers comply with the new regulation.

"We do give the option of them coming here and learning how to put their seat into their car. We like when people try to do it on their own, and then we'll be able to correct their mistakes," Officer Joseph Cahill of the Hoboken Police Department explained.

Police officers said when it comes to the new law they want to prevent accidents, not write tickets.


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