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Updating NJ’s Child Seat Belt Laws [AUDIO]

New Jersey’s child seat belt laws are not only antiquated, according to state Sen. Jim Beach (D-Cherry Hill), but they’re also too vague. Beach is now sponsoring legislation to modernize the statutes.

Child Car Seats
Bruno Vincent, Getty Images

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“Under my bill, children under the age of 2 weighing less than 30 pounds must be facing the rear of the vehicle and be secured by a five-point harness seat,” Beach said. “Children between 2 and 4 and weighing between 30 and 40 pounds must also be in a five-point harness seat, but parents can decide which way to face the kids.”

The five-point harness is the key, according to Beach, because it is more constraining and reduces the chance of whiplash. His measure also takes older children into account.

“Children ages 4 to 8 who are less than 57 inches in height must be secured in a five-point harness seat, a booster seat,” Beach said.

Current law in the Garden State stipulates that all children under 8 years of age and weighing less than 80 pounds must be secured in a child car seat or a booster seat. Beach said his bill would strengthen the law and apply modern-day standards.

Under this measure, the Motor Vehicle Commission would also be required to print and distribute information letting the public know about the changes in the law.

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