GREEN BROOK, NJ - New Jersey's new car seat law for children that goes into effect Tuesday, Sept. 1, will reduce the leading cause of death and injury for children 14 and younger, which is car accidents, according to the AAA (American Automobile Association).

New Jersey's new standards are the first of its kind to be signed into law in the nation.

“These new regulations will ensure that New Jersey remains a leader in child passenger safety,” Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs and government relations for AAA Northeast in New Jersey, said. “The new law, which requires parents to adhere to American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for use of child safety seats, is the easiest way to keep New Jersey’s children safe on the road.”

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Under the new law:

  • Children under age 2 AND weighing less than 30 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat that is equipped with a five-point harness.
  • Children ages 2 – 4 and weighing up to 40 pounds must be secured in a child-safety seat equipped with a five-point harness, either rear-facing (up to the height and weight limits of the seat) or forward-facing.
  • Children ages 4 – 8 and less than 57” tall (4’9”) must be secured in a forward-facing seat equipped with a five-point harness (up to the height and weight limits of the seat) or in a booster seat.
  • Children ages 8 – 17 must use the vehicles seat belt. The safest place for children under 13 is the back seat.

Click here to read the new law.

Green Brook Police Chief G. Christopher Kurz stated, “as both a police officer and a parent, this new law is a prudent update to the child passenger safety law and it reflects better methods for securing children in motor vehicles based upon data that has demonstrated safer practices.”

Once they are turned to face forward, children must remain in 5-point harness car seats until they are 4-years-old or weigh 40 pounds. The new law also says that children must remain in booster seats until they reach the age of 8 or 57 inches in height.

Fines for violation of the law will range from $50 to $75.

The Green Brook Police Department recently had two officers become certified as Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians. These officers are available for the residents who need assistance with the installation of child car seats in accordance with the updated law. Residents needing assistance or further information can contact the police department by calling 732-968-1188 or via email at info@greenbrookpd.org.

The Green Brook Police Department plans on launching an awareness campaign about the new law this month, by posting more information on their Facebook page, as well as making the information available to the school district.

"We'll work with the school district to make sure that parents are aware of the new law," Kurz said.