NEW York officials have warned parents to get their child’s car seat inspected to ensure their tiny passengers are safe while on the road.
Children under the age of eight years old must be buckled into a federally-approved car seat, according to New York City officials.
Even if you have a car seat for your little one, it may be incorrectly installed.
Nine out of ten car seats are not installed correctly, according to the New York City Department of Transportation.
However, there is a life-saving check that drivers can get on their car and it is free.
NYC DOT’s Office of Safety Education and Outreach offers free car seat inspections conducted by a trained car seat technician.
There are in-person inspections done from April into the fall.
You can also schedule a virtual inspection throughout the year.
New York was the first state to crack down on seatbelt usage, making it mandatory in 1984.
However, only front-seat passengers had to wear a seatbelt.
In 2020, the law changed to include backseat passengers ages 16 and older.
It is also New York law that children age eight to 16 must either wear a seatbelt or use a car seat.
New York is not the only state enforcing more laws on seatbelts.
North Dakota enacted a seatbelt law on August 1 that requires everyone in the car to wear the life-saving strap.
Failure to do so will lead to a $20 fine.
This has stirred up controversy among the legislature, as it became a common argument on whether this law infringes on residents’ personal freedom.
Burleigh County Sheriff Kelly Leben, who supported the legislation, believes this is a step in the right direction.
“One of the arguments is people always say we should have personal choice, but we regulate a lot of things in our society,” Leben told local NBC affiliate KFYR-TV.
“And that’s just part of living in a modern society, is there’s going to be rules, and seatbelts are proven, time and time again, that’s the one thing people can do that will make a difference in a crash.”
The Vision Zero initiative hopes to reduce fatalities caused by car crashes by focusing on driving safety methods like using seatbelts.