Browne and Schlossberg applaud passage of rear-facing car seat bill

HARRISBURG, May 23 – State Senator Pat Browne, R-Lehigh, and Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, today applauded House passage of S.B. 1152, which would require infants younger than 2 to be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat while in a vehicle.

Browne’s S.B. 1152, which is identical to legislation Schlossberg previously introduced in the House, is now on its way to Gov. Tom Wolf for signature into law.

"After hearing from health care professionals and after seeing safety studies that have shown that children under two are better protected in car accidents when they are in rear-facing car seats, it was crucial that we changed the law in Pennsylvania to better ensure the safety of young children," said Browne.

Currently, state law requires all children younger than 4 to be properly secured in an approved car seat, but the law does not specify how the car seat should be facing. Browne said numerous studies have shown rear-facing car seats do a far better job at protecting an infant’s head, neck and spine.

“As a father of two young children, I know parents and caregivers want to be doing the right thing for their child, especially when it involves that child’s safety. The best thing we can do for our children while they are traveling with us in our vehicles is to ensure they are properly secured,” Schlossberg said. “Efforts such as this, which bring together both sides of the aisle and both chambers serve Pennsylvania best. I was glad to be able to work with Senator Browne to make that happen and as a result, Pennsylvania’s children will be safer.”                                      

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration currently recommends infants should be in a rear-facing car seat until they weigh at least 20 pounds and are at least 1. Schlossberg noted that federal guidelines also recommend making rear-facing car seats mandatory for infants.

Once the bill is signed into law, which Wolf has said he intends to do, Pennsylvania will become the fourth state, after California, New Jersey and Oklahoma, to require rear-facing car seats for children younger than 2.