NEW YORK (WWTI) — Lawmakers across the country are calling for improvements to safety standards for child car seats.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday that she is leading a coalition to improve these standards. James and 18 additional attorney generals are specifically calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to “take stronger measures to protect children while traveling in car seats.
The coalition sent a letter to both the NHTSA and United States Department of Transportation which asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to implement side-impact testing standards for child car seats.
Additionally, the letter urged the Administration to require that all child car seat labels include guidance that says every child should remain in his or her current car seat until exceeding its maximum height or weight.
The NHTSA currently does not require that all child car seat labels include this guidance.
According to James, this was requested to occur “as quickly as possible,” as there has been a “20 year delay.”
“As families pack their cars for summer road trips, we must ensure that parents have the right information to keep their children safe on the road,” said Attorney General James. “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a responsibility to adopt clear safety standards for child car seats, and, today, we are making clear that failure to act is unacceptable. Our children cannot afford to wait another 20 years for these basic, sensible safety standards. Every car seat in America must have these labels. Children’s lives depend on it.”
The coalition specifically focused on encouraging parents to delay the transition to the next seat for as long as possible. This applies to fitting children to the three categories of car seats; rear-facing with a five-point harness, forward-facing with a five-point harness, and booster seats; based on their height and weight.
According to Coalition, experts agree that children should delay transition to the next seat in the progression for as long as possible, until they exceed their current seat’s height or weight limits.
Joining Attorney General James in co-leading the letter is Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.
The two are joined by the attorneys general of California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.