New York state remains one of the few states in the U.S. which requires all children under the age of 8 to use a child safety restraint system while driving in a vehicle. This law applies to all children, regardless of their height, weight or general size.

Children under the age of four must ride in a child safety seat.

This law has been in effect since 2009. Prior to that state law required child safety seats for all children up to their 7th birthday. The law was expanded to include children one year older in order to ensure that the child would be big enough to be safely secured by the vehicle’s passenger restraint system.

All child safety systems must meet with federal approval and the New York Department of Motor Vehicles provides a link to these federally approved devices, and a link to a list of locations which can properly install them, on the New York DMV web site.

Anyone caught violating the law not only puts their child’s safety at risk, they also face a stiff penalty of up to $100 and three additional points added to their license.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vehicle collisions remain the leading cause of death for young people in America. Most people take this to mean teenage drivers, and it’s true that they make up the bulk of those numbers. But young bodies simply cannot take the trauma and impact involved in a vehicle collision. If they are not properly secured their risk of dying in a vehicle collision greatly increases.