Our children’s safety when driving is very important but how can we actually make sure that our children are safe?

Car Seats are very important especially if you have children below 10 years of age and we must follow on how to properly use car seats. Today July 1st, 2019, Virginia’s new child car seat law takes into effect. In this new law, children must ride rear-facing seats until the age of 2 or if until they meet the required minimum weight standards for a forward-facing seat.

(Effective July 1, 2019) Any person who drives on the highways of Virginia any motor vehicle manufactured after January 1, 1968, shall ensure that any child, up to age eight, whom he transports therein is provided with and properly secured in a child restraint device of a type which meets the standards adopted by the United States Department of Transportation. 

Such child restraint device shall not be forward-facing until at least (i) the child reaches two years of age or (ii) the child reaches the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing child restraint device as prescribed by the manufacturer of the device. Further, child restraint devices shall be placed in the back seat of a vehicle. 

“Think about it, instead of being thrown forward against the harness like an adult would be or even a child in a forward-facing seat, a rear-facing seat protects the whole child’s head and neck and torso much more safely,”  Georjeane Bluming, a car seat expert with AAA, explained. “It’s a flat surface that they are being pushed into.”

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAA) strongly suggested following this new law. According to Martha Meade, the manager for public and government affairs said “This is an important change for Virginia because it is confusing for many folks who don’t know when the right time is to switch their child to be forward-facing in vehicles,” Meade said.

“All the major traffic safety organizations — AAA, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, National Highway Safety Administration and the Academy of Pediatrics — recommend a child stays rear-facing until age 2, or until they’ve reached the minimum weight and height requirement.”

The law has been passed last year and was take into effect today which will make it mandatory for all children who are 2 years old and below. This will keep our children much safer and can possibly protect the child from neck and spine injuries in encountering an accident.

What are the violations?

  • 1st Violations of the law are subject to a $50 civil penalty.
  • 2nd or subsequent offenses on different dates will be subjected to a $500 penalty.

Car seats are updated often that’s why it is better to consult and have regular checks and it is very important to install it correctly for your child’s safety.