Disclaimer: I do not know anyone in real life that I am talking about.
So, today, someone on one of my bazillion online local mom's groups asked a question about car seats and booster seats. Recap is: She is pregnant and has 2 other children. Her car has a 3rd row seat, so no worries about where the car seats and boosters can go, but her mom's doesn't. "Is it illegal to have my 6 year old (the oldest) in the front seat in his booster in my mom's car?"
This was the reply from one of the mom's on the board.
> "From what I've been hearing, car seats and weight limits are guide lines, not the law. As long as your child is buckled some way it doesn't matter, it's the parents choice to follow the car seat rules not the law, but I'd go for the safest."
Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?! NOT THE LAW?? Where the hell is she from? Everyone on this mom's board is living in NJ as we speak? Is there another state somewhere that I don't know of that she *may* have come from that it wasn't the law to put your child in a car seat?? NJ has the most strict laws of almost any state with it's 8 years old or 80 pounds in a booster.
Of course, I couldn't keep quiet and here was my post back to her:
"OH NO! In NJ is it a LAW that children be restrained in a proper restraint for their size and age. You can be ticketed and fined for not doing it.
This is the title 39 statute that an officer would write out the ticket. I used to be a police officer and my hubby is a detective.
39:3-76.2a Failure to use a child restraint when transporting a child under the age of eight and weighing less than 80 pounds.
And here is the NJ web site with info about the LAW: http://www.state.nj.us/lps/hts/childseats/childseats_newlaw.html
Especially if, God forbid, there was an accident and the officer can determine that your child wasn't in a car seat or booster. It is the LAW. Not just a suggestion.
Please don't go around telling people you don't have to put your child in a car seat! ONLY when you child is over 80 pounds or 8 years old can they be exempt from the LAW. If your child is under 80 pounds, but over 8, they are exempt from the law, but it would be up to you to see if the seat belt fits them correctly and keep them in a booster seat, if needed...but not under the law, at that point ONLY.
That being said, and I think someone already said it, if you just don't have a big enough car and all the other seats in the back are taken by other younger or smaller children, you wouldn't be ticketed for having the oldest in the front seat. Just turn off the air bag if you can, because that can do more damage than anything to a child if you are in an accident.My hubby is a cop and he has had my son in the front of his pickup only about 3 times his whole 4 years of life, because it is an older truck and no airbag and it's only a bench seat. But we weren't real comfortable about it. We didn't have a choice at the time.Good luck!!!"
My head is still spinning from all the research I did to find those good web sites and the Title 39 statute. But, I just couldn't let that one go. I know I won't be letting her drive my kid around, if I ever even meet her.
Oh yea, and did you hear? It's just a guideline that you need to stay on the right side of the road in America too? And red lights mean go and green means stop....ok, green light. I could go on forever with that one.