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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #09-050

Contact: Seth Solomonow/Nicole Garcia (212) 839-4850

NYC DOT Reminds New Yorkers Of New Law Extending The Required Use Of Car Safety Seats To Children Age 7

Law takes effect Nov. 24, raising by one year the required use of child-restraint systems

With 90% of car seats installed incorrectly, parents and caregivers are encouraged to visit City fitting stations for instruction on the correct installation of car and booster seats

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today reminded parents and caregivers to be prepared for a new State law taking effect Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009, requiring children age 7 and younger to use booster seats, car seats, travel vests or other child-restraint systems when riding in vehicles, extending the required age by one year. The State law, enacted this summer, enhances safety for children who have outgrown car seats but still need assistance to permit seat belts to fit correctly and provide better protection.

“Car seats, booster seats and seat belts offer the best level of protection for children, but only when they’re used correctly,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “As we build safer streets for everyone, we invite parents and caregivers to visit City fitting stations to learn how to create an even safer riding environment and give a boost to their most precious cargo.”

Booster seats have been found to reduce the risk of injury by nearly 60% for children ages 4 through 8 compared to seat belts alone. Despite these benefits, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that some 90% of car seats are installed incorrectly.

While children 8 and older are not required to use booster seats, DOT recommends that children under 4 feet 9 inches continue to use them. New York State law mandates all children under the age of 16 buckle up no matter where they sit in a car.

DOT offers free evaluations and tutorials from trained technicians on correct car-seat installation. For more information about the new law or for details about car safety-seat inspection stations in each of the five boroughs, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/dot.

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