Federal regulators should increase safety measures and rules for kids' car seats, New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday said.
James is co-leading a coalition of 18 attorneys general from around the country urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to implement changes to existing rules. The proposals include a call for putting side-impact testing standards for child car seats in place as quickly as possible following a 20-year delay.
At the same time, the state attorneys general are calling for the federal government to require all child car seat labels to include guidance that every child should remain in their seat until exceeding its height or weight maximum.
“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,” James said. “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.”
Congress had previously called for the administration to adopt side-impact standards for car seats in 2000, but no standards have been put in place more than 20 years later.
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children aged 1 to 13," the AGs wrote in a letter to the government. "Almost 5,000 children under 15 have died in car crashes from 2015 to 2019, which equates to about 19 children each week over that time period. Since their introduction in the 1970s, child car seats have significantly reduced the risk of injury to children, and numerous technological advances have made them safer over the years. NHTSA shares credit in this success, but as the data shows, there is still room for improvement."