Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Car seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children in a crash so it is important to choose and use the right car seat correctly every time your child is in the car. Remember, the safety belt in your vehicle is not designed for children. A booster seat raises your child up so that the safety belt fits your child correctly and provides better protection.
On April 1, 1982 New York State's first child passenger restraint law went into effect. According to this law, all children must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle, until they reach their 8th birthday. An appropriate child restraint system is one that fits the child according to the manufacturer's specifications for height and weight.
Effective November 1, 2019, the law states that all children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are 2 types of rear-facing car seats: Infant Seats and Convertible/All-in-One Seats.
It is recommended that infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the weight or height limit of the seat. Most children will outgrow a rear-facing infant seat before reaching their 2nd birthday. If the child has outgrown an infant seat, it is recommended that a larger, rear-facing Convertible or All-in-One car seat with higher rear-facing height and weight limits be used. These seats should be installed in the rear-facing position until the child reaches the rear-facing weight or height limit set by the car seat manufacturer.
Questions and comments regarding the statewide Child Passenger Safety Program should be directed to:
Aubrey L. Feldman, MPH, CPH, CHES®, CPST
Child Passenger Safety Program Coordinator
Highway Safety Program Analyst II
Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 410B
Albany, NY 12228