New Virginia law might change the way you put your kids in a car seat

Posted at 7:11 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 22:27:53-04

VIRGINIA - A new law might change the way you put your kids in a car seat.

Supporters say the ultimate goal is to save more lives.

Poppy Schmitt has been enjoying the back seat of her parent’s car for the past two years.

Her mom, Lauren Schmitt, said she has learned all about the new state law that puts restrictions on how parents strap in their little ones.

“Before I had kids, I didn't really know about the different laws and recommendations, so I think it is important to get the word out,” said Schmitt.

On Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam held a signing ceremony for HB 708, the bill that mandates this regulation.

The new law requires kids under the age of two to ride in a car seat that faces the rear of the vehicle.

Many have been pushing for this law, including pediatricians who have said it's safer.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said in a traffic accident, kids are 74 percent less likely to die or get seriously hurt in a rear-facing seat.

“The ligaments, the bones, the neck, they're not full developed, so you want to keep them rear facing until that development happens," said Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, who sponsored HB 708.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) said in a statement saying Virginia will now be the 10th state to mandate this by law.

Supporters said it’s protecting our most vulnerable population: the youngest members of society.

It could cost you $50 if you get a ticket for your first violation and up to $500 for your second violation, according to AAA.

The law won’t take effect until July 2019 to make sure the public has enough time to gain awareness.

"I am proud to sign this piece of legislation, which puts our children's safety first," Governor Northam said. "When we are on the road, it is our responsibility to do everything that we can to keep our youngest passengers safe. This bill will do just that by helping to protect children in the event of a collision."