Anyone with little ones under 13 riding in their vehicle will need to take heed of changes to the car seat laws, which go into effect in August.
The new law, created by Senate Bill 76, requires children younger than two-years-old to be restrained in rear-facing car seats and anyone under the age of 13 to ride in the back seat.
Louisiana put a child safety seat law based on a child’s height and weight on the books in 1984 and updated it in 2009. According to national safety experts, Louisiana’s new law is the best in the country, as it is based on national best practice and mirrors the American Academy of Pediatrics’ newly released child seat recommendations.
“We can celebrate that Louisiana now has the best child restraint law in the country, but to make a true impact on Louisiana’s fatality and injury rate on our highways, we have to adopt a safety culture in Louisiana,” Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director Lisa Freeman said. “I believe parents and caregivers will embrace the new guidelines since they are designed to keep their children safe.”
Louisiana Department of Health Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter agreed, saying the new guidelines will help prevent deaths, recognizing “what saves lives is the behavior change we hope will ensue.” Medical professionals agree, with Gardner, who leads the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force, recognizing that the law reflects a movement to “keep children in the more protected stages as long as possible” before taking them out of car seats or booster seats.
Here is a breakdown of the new requirements provided by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission: