Karl Heideck recently wrote an article regarding Pennsylvania’s newest car seat laws. In recent years, the commonwealth’s legislators have been focusing more on laws that protect children on the roads. According to AAA, one of the leading causes of death among babies and small children is auto accidents. To help reduce the sobering child fatality statistics, Pennsylvania lawmakers decided to focus on car seats first.
Pennsylvania’s Latest Car Seat Law
The newest law took effect on August 12, 2016. It mandates that all children who are under two years of age must be secured in a car seat, and it must be facing toward the rear of the vehicle. Research shows that rear-facing car seats protect the delicate spines, heads and bones of infants and toddlers. For the past year, police have been issuing warnings to non-compliant drivers during routine traffic stops. Since the one-year grace period is over, they will now be issuing citations and fines. The current fine for not following the law is $125. Also, children who are eight years old or younger should be sitting in a booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches or weigh more than 80 pounds. Violating the booster seat law results in a fine of up to $75.
Attorney Karl Heideck encourages parents across Pennsylvania to review the law and ensure that they have compliant car seats. Car seat manufacturers have issued recalls on several older and newer models, and most car seats that are over five years old are not compliant with current safety standards. Parents should only buy new car seats. Used ones may also have hidden damages from previous owners that compromise their ability to keep children safe in an accident. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety releases lists each year naming the safest car seats and booster seats. The products go through extensive testing and inspections. Parents who are not sure how to buy a car seat or which ones are safest should consult the current list from the IIHS.
Car seat owners must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using the product and ensure that it fits properly in the vehicle. Pennsylvania has several car seat inspection sites, and parents can utilize these to ensure that their car seats fit their children based on height and weight. After buying a car seat, it is also important to watch for future safety recalls for that model as long as it is in use. To do this, concerned parents can visit the car seat manufacturer’s website and search for their product model. Updated car seat recalls are always posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website as well. Parents who register their car seats will receive notifications in the mail if their product is recalled. Even the most trusted names post recalls. For example, Graco has been considered one of the most reliable brands for many years. It has had its share of recalls, and the popular 2017 My Ride model was included in the list. Those car seats were made with defective safety harnesses.
Along with many other legal professionals, Karl Heideck praised Pennsylvania lawmakers for the recent legislation. Pennsylvania is the fourth state to pass a law making rear-facing car seats mandatory for all children who are under the age of two. Traffic safety experts, government organizations, lawmakers and legal experts all hope that other states will follow in Pennsylvania’s footsteps by passing improved car seat laws.
About Karl Heideck
Karl Heideck attended Temple University Beasley School of Law, and he graduated with honors when he earned his Juris Doctor in 2009. In 2003, he also earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Swarthmore College. Heideck’s specialties include civil litigation, legal research and writing, intellectual property law, commercial litigation, employment law and corporate law. He spent more than a decade practicing law in the Philadelphia area. His services range from risk management and compliance consulting to product liability and corporate proceedings.
Heideck’s recent work includes participation in complicated securities fraud and banking litigation cases. He is skilled at reviewing discovery documents in such proceedings. He has also worked on cases of risk management, liquidity and acquisitions that were tied to the major banking crisis of 2008. Additionally, Heideck puts his English degree to good use by writing powerful and compelling pieces about legal news and contemporary developments. In addition to serving clients in the Philadelphia area, he has gained clients from across the commonwealth and in other parts of the United States. He is a respected attorney as well as a celebrated opinion writer in the legal community, and he gladly shares his tips for success with other attorneys. Heideck encourages other legal professionals to make lasting connections by being humble, honest and kind. He is active on social media and has a large following on Twitter.
Click here to read Karl Heideck’s legal blog.