Seat Belt Safety

New Law Requires More Protection for Child Passengers

Effective December 1, 2001, New Jersey's child passenger safety law requires:

  • Children up to age 8 or 80 pounds must ride in a safety or booster seat in the rear seat of the vehicle.
  • Children under age 8 who weigh more than 80 pounds must wear a seat belt anywhere in the vehicle.
  • Passengers age 8 to 18 (regardless of weight) must wear a seat belt anywhere inside a vehicle.

Why Was New Jersey's Child Passenger Safety Law Upgraded?

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages 4 to 14. More than 1,700 children under age 15 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2000, with the majority not in a safety seat or seat belt.

Child Passenger Safety

The 4 steps to child passenger safety:

  • Infant seats are designed for children up to 1 year old and, usually 20 pounds in weight. Infant seats are always positioned rear-facing.
  • Forward-facing seats are designed for children between 20 and 40 pounds. Toddler seats are always positioned forward-facing.
  • Booster seats are designed for children between 40 and up to 80 pounds. Booster seats raise a child so the vehicle's lap and shoulder belt fits properly and allow the knees to bend.
  • Seat belts - Adults, please set the proper example!

Download the seat belt safety flyer (PDF).