FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2017
Contact: Eric Naing 202-408-1711, cell: 217-493-8294, firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEMENT OF JACKIE GILLAN,
PRESIDENT OF ADVOCATES FOR HIGHWAY AND AUTO SAFETY,
ON UPGRADE TO NEW YORK CHILD OCCUPANT PROTECTION LAW
Critical Safety Victory for New York – The State’s Youngest Passengers Will be Better Protected
Yesterday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D) signed into law Assembly Bill (A) 8100 and Senate Bill (S) 6523, requiring that children remain in a rear-facing child safety seat until age two or until they exceed the seat height and weight recommendations. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) commends Gov. Cuomo, bill sponsors Senator Joseph Robach (R) and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D), and the bipartisan work of the New York State Legislature to strengthen the state’s child occupant protection statute
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children in the U.S. and are especially dangerous for children age two and under. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), these young passengers are at an elevated injury risk in a crash due to their relatively large heads and weak neck muscles. Rear-facing child safety seats provide needed protection to young child passengers while their bodies develop. Groups like the AAP, as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strongly recommend keeping children in a rear-facing child safety seat past age one.
This upgrade to New York’s child occupant protection law is urgently needed. According to a recent analysis of ticket and crash data in New York performed by AAA New York State, “a child under two years old was injured in a crash more than once a day, on average; a child under two years old was injured in 59 of New York’s 62 counties;” and, “one-year-olds suffered five times as many injuries as children less than one year old.
New York now joins eight other states (CA, CT, NJ, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC) that have enacted laws requiring infants and toddlers to remain rear facing through age two. Advocates urges the remaining 42 states and the District of Columbia to follow New York’s example and pass laws that provide life-saving protections for our youngest road users