Assemblywoman Galef and Senator Robach Applaud Governor for Signing of Legislation to Keep Kids Safe in Cars

October 24, 2017

Albany Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Senator Joseph Robach today announce that their bill, A.8100/S.6525, which requires children to remain in a rear facing car seat until they are two years old, or have met the height and weight limits on their particular seat, has been signed by Governor Cuomo.

The legislation aims to keep young passengers safer in cars by protecting their heads, necks, and spines from injuries that are more likely in front facing seats. Research has shown that one year olds are five times more likely to suffer injury if they are in a forward facing seat than in a rear facing seat. It had significant support from the automobile club, AAA, and complies with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that children remain in a rear facing seat until the age of two. Similar laws are in place in California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

I am glad to see this important piece of legislation that will save countless lives of children under the age of two by requiring that these most vulnerable children are in rear facing car seats become law. I thank the Governor and my colleagues in the Assembly and Senate for their support for this step toward keeping our children safe, said Assemblywoman Sandy Galef.

"I was proud to sponsor this legislation that will potentially save the lives of children under the age of two and help to keep some of our most vulnerable citizens safer while riding in an automobile. By ensuring that children under the age of two are restrained in a rear facing car seat, we can limit the effects a car accident may have on their head and neck and increasing their safety as a whole. I applaud the governor for signing this important piece of legislation and thank my colleagues in both houses of the Legislature for their support of this measure," said Senator Joe Robach.

A rear-facing car seat law will help prevent injuries. Young children are safer in rear-facing car seats, and prior child passenger safety laws have reduced injuries among targeted populations. In New York, a one-year-old child is injured in a traffic crash once a day, on average. AAA New York State applauds the passage of this legislation, said John Corlett, Legislative Committee Chair for AAA New York State.

This legislation will go into effect on November 1, 2019 in order to give parents time to procure the correct safety seat.