Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli (D-Great Neck) announced a new law which he supported, became effective March 27, requiring booster seats for automobile passengers up to age 7. (Ch. 509 of 2004).
"Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children between 6 and 14," DiNapoli said. "Making sure children are using appropriate restraint systems is a common sense measure that will save many young lives."
Currently state law requires car safety seats for passengers up to age 4. DiNapoli said the law had to be expanded to include older youngsters. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children shorter than 4'9" tall be in a booster seat.
DiNapoli said the Assembly also intends to pass a Chapter amendment requiring booster seats to be used only with combination lap and shoulder belts (A.3357).
"Many parents assume that their children are safe in a seat belt once they're no longer legally required to be in child safety seats," DiNapoli said. "But the fact is, seat belts are designed for adults and can be dangerous for children."
DiNapoli noted that more than 47 percent of fatally injured children, aged 4 to 7, are completely unrestrained.
The law will also require a notice in all rental car agencies reflecting the changes.