SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - How and where your child sits in your car will soon be changing in Louisiana.
Governor John Bel Edwards recently signed the Louisiana Child Passenger Safety Law that will impact parents and children ages 13 and under.
Under this new law children will have to sit in a rear facing car seat until they turn two and have outgrown their rear racing seat by height or weight.
Once a child has outgrown their forward facing car seat they then have to sit in a booster seat until the age of nine or they outgrow the booster seat and can pass the five step test:
- The child sits all the way back against the vehicle seat.
- The child’s knees bend over the edge of the vehicles seat
- The lap belt fits snugly across the child’s thighs or lower hips and not on the abdomen
- The shoulder strap snugly crosses the center of the child’s chest and not the neck
- The child sits properly, with no slouching or playing with the seat belt
Also, part of the law is that children under the age of 13 are not allowed to sit in the front passenger seat unless the car does not have a back seats.
“It’s going to be an adjustment for many of the parents,” said Brent Hardy with Louisiana State Police Troop G. “Maybe they (have children that are) ten or 11 and they are use to riding in the front seat. (We just want) to educate them on why it is not safe for them to ride in the front seat.”
Hardy says they will be working to make sure that the community is informed about the new law before it goes into effect.
“We’re not just out there to write tickets," he said. “We’re out there to educate the public, and educate to reduce injuries and crashes and try to not have any fatalities in any crash.”
Hardy says parents can stop by Troop G or any state police headquarters in the state for a free car seat fitting.
You can also visit local fire departments in Shreveport, Bossier City and Haughton and set up an appointment at Ochsner-LSU for a free fitting as well.
To check out other locations in the state that offer free car seat fitting, click HERE.