Child Passenger Safety for Parents & Caregivers
National Child Passenger Safety Week is September 15 - 21, 2019
Child Passenger Safety (CPS) in New York State
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Car seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children in a crash so it is important to choose and use the right car seat correctly every time your child is in the car. Remember, the safety belt in your vehicle is not designed for children. A booster seat raises your child up so that the safety belt fits your child correctly and provides better protection.
On April 1, 1982 New York State's first child passenger restraint law went into effect. According to this law, all children must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle, until they reach their 8th birthday. An appropriate child restraint system is one that fits the child according to the manufacturer's specifications for height and weight.
Effective November 1, 2019, the law states that all children under the age of 2 must use a rear-facing car seat. There are 3 types of rear-facing car seats: Infant Seats, Convertible Seats, and All-in-One Seats.
It is recommended that infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the weight or height limit of the seat. Most children will outgrow a rear-facing infant seat before reaching their 2nd birthday. If the child has outgrown an infant seat, it is recommended that a larger, rear-facing Convertible or All-in-One car seat with higher rear-facing height and weight limits be used. These seats should be installed in the rear-facing position until the child reaches the rear-facing weight or height limit set by the car seat manufacturer.
**Please note that this new law also applies to School Buses**
What are we doing?
Keeping children safe and properly restrained on New York roadways is a top priority for the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). Please see below for a list of our efforts and initiatives for Child Passenger Safety.
- Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Training Program
Effective child passenger safety training is an important tool in the effort to raise awareness and convey accurate technical information about proper occupant restraint usage. Therefore, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee provides statewide coordination for the Child Passenger Safety Training Program.
GTSC maintains an up-to-date schedule of child passenger safety seat check events and child passenger safety training classes, as well as a listing of certified technicians and instructors. And we will gladly furnish information to any agency or organization interested in conducting a training course.
New York State is proud to have over 1,700 certified CPS technicians and over 80 certified CPS instructors. If interested in becoming a certified technician or instructor, please visit our Child Passenger Safety for Technicians & Instructors page.
- Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Permanent Fitting Stations and Check Events
The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee supports state, local and not-for-profit agencies in offering free child passenger safety seat inspections at permanent fitting stations and check events throughout the state.
Permanent Fitting Stations and Check Events are conducted to educate parents and caregivers about the proper ways to transport children safely using child safety seats and seat belts. The purpose is to focus on the appropriate child restraint selection and proper installation. Locate a fitting station near you or see a list of current check events being offered throughout the state.
- Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week
Every year, to help keep children safe on New York State roadways, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), along with state and local safety partners, participate in Child Passenger Safety Week. The goal is to make sure that children are in the correct car seat, that seats are properly installed and used, and that seats are registered with its manufacturer to ensure parents and caregivers receive important safety updates.
Local and state agencies come together to host CPS check events throughout the state and offer parents and caregivers a convenient way to have their car seat(s) inspected and receive vital child passenger safety information and education.
National Child Passenger Safety Week this year runs September 15 – 21, 2019.
- New York State Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Advisory Board
The New York State Child Passenger Safety Advisory Board was created in January 2004. The CPS Advisory Board advises the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee on child passenger safety issues and promotes a higher level of skill, knowledge, and participation of technicians and instructors to improve child passenger safety in all regions of New York State.
Members of the Board are chosen to represent 14 regions of the state as well as special interests regarding child passenger safety. Each Regional Coordinator has been given the responsibility to help improve communication, provide assistance and program direction, address regional problems and issues, and assure that the Child Passenger Safety Standards of Performance are upheld.
Further information and current members can be found by visiting the NYS CPS Advisory Board webpage.
What can you do?
There are many things that you can do to keep children safe on our roadways.
- Tips for Parents/Caregivers:
- Be sure your children are properly and safely restrained for every car ride, every time.
- Get your car seat(s) inspected at a local fitting station or check event. Bring your child with you so that a certified technician can ensure that the car seat is appropriate and fitted correctly for your child.
- Avoid buying used child safety seats. There is no guarantee for safety when purchasing a used car seat at a garage sale, flea market or thrift store. These seats may be expired, have missing parts, be damaged or may have been recalled. There is no way of knowing if these seats have been in a crash and if they had received damage that can't be seen with the naked eye.
- Stay focused on the road and your surroundings. Never drive distracted and never use your cell phone or any electronic device while driving. If there is an emergency, safely pull off the road or into a "Texting Zone" before using your device(s).
- Drive sober. Never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs and discourage others from doing so.
- A child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult’s. To prevent heatstroke, never leave a child in a vehicle unattended – even if the windows are partially open or the air conditioning is on.
Tweens – Never Give Up Until They Buckle Up
Know for Sure... Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat?
Questions and comments regarding the statewide Child Passenger Safety Program should be directed to:
Aubrey L. Feldman, MPH, CPH, CHES®
Child Passenger Safety Program Coordinator
Highway Safety Program Analyst II
Governor's Traffic Safety Committee
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 410B
Albany, NY 12228