The New Car Seat Law You Need To Know About

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.

Hayley Malan

Hayley Malan is a full time working Mom and freelance writer. She gets her inspiration from her own experiences as a mother.

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