Car Seat Law to Change in Louisiana
As of August 1st, 2019, Louisiana residents will have new regulations in place to keep their children safe in automobiles. Governor John Bel Edwards signed the bill in late June. The current car seat safety law was initially enacted in 1984, and last updated in 2009. The new law aligns with guidelines laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children in Louisiana. Not using or misusing lap and shoulder safety belts contributed to the majority of these unfortunate deaths. Correctly using car seats and booster seats helps to properly restrain children and keep them safe in motor vehicle accidents.
The new law is as follows:
- 0-2 Years Old: Child must ride in a rear-facing car seat
- 2-4 Years Old: Child must ride in a forward-facing car seat with an internal harness
- 4-9 Years Old: Child must use a booster seat
- 9-12 Years Old: May ride without a booster seat, provided that the seat belt fits them properly
- Children 13 and under should always ride in the back seat
Drivers who are found to be in violation of the new law will be fined $100 for a first offense. A second offense will cost at least $200 and no more than $500. For additional offenses, fines plus court costs will apply.
Experts are available at all Louisiana State Police headquarters to help you determine if your car seat is installed properly in your vehicle. A list of other locations that offer these services is here.
Aside from following the laws regarding the type of seat your child needs to use, and making sure that it is properly installed, there are a few other things drivers can do to ensure that all of their passengers remain safe. You should register the car seat with the manufacturer so that you can be contacted in case of an update or recall. Always read the instructions to make sure that you are using the seat properly; car seats are not always intuitive. And never, never put a rear-facing car seat in front of a passenger air bag seat.July 26th, 2019