Schlossberg applauds House Transportation Committee’s vote to strengthen rear-facing child seat measure

HARRISBURG, Dec. 9 The House Transportation Committee today amended and reported out a bill, authored by state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, to strengthen provisions intended to keep infants safe while traveling in a vehicle.

"On Monday, at a public hearing held by the House Transportation Committee, I was pleased to see wide, bipartisan support for efforts to improve child safety in Pennsylvania," Schlossberg said. "After a productive and frank discussion, it was clear that there was sufficient support to strengthen my bill by amending it to offer even better protections for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. I fully support that effort." 

House Bill 1551, which originally would have required children younger than 1 to be secured in a rear-facing car seat, was amended by the committee to require children to be secured in a rear-facing car seat while in a vehicle until age 2 unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer’s specification of the car seat in use.

Schlossberg noted that this change to his bill follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. During the House Transportation public hearing, Ted Leonard, executive director of the Pennsylvania AAA Federation, voiced AAA’s support for efforts to enhance the requirement to secure children under age 2 in rear-facing car seats or until that child reaches the maximum height and weight for the car seat as noted by the manufacturer.

"As a father of two young children, I find it hard to believe that parents and other caregivers are knowingly traveling with their children unsecured in their vehicles," Schlossberg said. "That being said, I think Pennsylvania is faced with an education issue. We need to ensure we are doing everything in our power to get the message out that properly installed rear-facing car seats save lives and this legislation will help tremendously with that effort."

Schlossberg’s legislation now goes to the full House for a vote.

"This bill, if it becomes law, would make Pennsylvania one of the national leaders in child safety," Schlossberg said. "Currently, there are 37 states with no such law, 12 that require children under the age of one to be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and three states, including New Jersey, that require children two and under be secured in a rear-facing seat. We should be the fourth."