The New Car Seat Law You Need To Know About

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In Harrisburg, Pa. officials have always recommended that rear-facing seats should be used until children are at least 1 years old or 20 pounds, but there has never ever been a state law governing this.

From the 13th of this month, however, children under that age of 2 will have to ride in a rear-facing car seat.

PennDOT spokeswoman Fritzi Schreffler said “Prior to this law taking effect, it was up to the caregiver or parent to make that decision; whether or not they wanted to turn that child around once they reached a year and 20 pounds”

The current law only requires that children under the age of 4 to be seated in a car seat but it does not specify whether the seat should be rear or front facing.

In an interview with abc27, child passenger safety technician and mom Tammy Palyo said that “It’s more convenient [to have a front-facing car seat]. You can see your child just by turning your head slightly if you’re at a red light. You know you can communicate with them better. It is easier to have them forward facing, but you have to weigh it against safety. Is it better to have safety or convenience for your child?”

Palyo keeps her 3-and-a-half year old in a rear-facing seat. She says

If we can keep our kids rear-facing, I mean, why not?” she mentioned. “If it’s possible to do, why not do it if it’s going to mean they’re safer?”

For non-compliance with the law, police will issue verbal warnings in the first year. Following this period, violations will carry fines to the value of $125.




  1. Jan

    August 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Great for PA but they should have enacted two year rear facing as is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics. CA’s goes into effect in 2017.

    • Susi

      August 18, 2016 at 5:13 am

      Great if you have small kids. If both parents are over 6′ and the kid has long legs this does not work. How would you like to drive with your knees. This is a stupid idea. It is NOT the convenience of having them facing front. It is just logical. They have mirrors to keep an eye on them. What if they started choking and stopped breathing would you notice if they were facing the rear? How did we all get this old when we grew up with NO car seats or even belts? These a beauracrats that make these rules. Not parents.

      • Leann Walker

        February 25, 2017 at 9:50 pm

        If they had any kids of there own they would know that kids can kick agenst the seat if the car seat is rear facing after a year old. By the time the child is yr 1/2 they can unbuckle. That makes it more dangerous for them then to be front facing after one year old. I agree with car seats! They do need to be in forced but not rear facing after a year.

      • Janeen

        February 27, 2017 at 1:46 pm

        I agree…I couldn’t keep my granddaughter rear facing after one year because of her long legs. Her dad is 6’7″ and I could tell she was not comfortable so I turned her car seat around.

  2. Tiffany Fabbian Kopper

    August 12, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Allison Cummings

  3. Gina Nicolson

    August 12, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Keri Brierley

    • Keri Brierley

      August 12, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks, I knew it was recommended, didn’t know it was becoming the law….

  4. Court Ney

    August 12, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    is this new law everywhere or just in Pennsylvania?

  5. Judith Jones

    August 12, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Lucy Peacey

  6. Kate Rebecca Hall

    August 12, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Is this in Australia ??

  7. Angela N. Rardon-Wyatt

    August 12, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Rear facing till the age of 2…

  8. Gina Grey

    August 12, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    This article is from Pennsylvania. This applies to California?

  9. Emi Boo

    August 12, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Is this for Australia at all

  10. Corina M Torres

    August 13, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Great! more i forgot my child in the car cuz they can’t see them.

    • Rebecca Richter

      August 13, 2016 at 11:19 am

      If thats the case and you can’t remember you have your kid in the car because your “too busy” or whatever your excuse may be, then you should probably not be driving in the first place.
      You would probably be too busy to obey basic driving laws and end up getting a wreck because “you were too busy” and “not thinking.”
      id suggest a mirror for parents who are gonna use this excuse, or just don’t even drive.
      Stay home and be responsible and Wait for another adult to ride with you, one that can Remember that their is a child in the car.

  11. Rebecca Richter

    August 13, 2016 at 11:09 am

    It’s everywhete

  12. Rebecca Richter

    August 13, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Effective January 1, 2017:

    Children under 2 years of age shall ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall. The child shall be secured in a manner that complies with the height and weight limits specified by the manufacturer of the car seat.

    Current California Law:

    Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
    Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4′ 9″ in height must be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.
    Passengers who are 16 years of age and over are subject to California’s Mandatory Seat Belt law.

  13. Angel M

    February 26, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Oh so my kids would of been out by a year anyway for the height and 18 moths for the weight. Ok for small kids,not ok for tall and big kidsl

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