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Every state requires infants and small children to be restrained when riding in vehicles; however, each state has different guidelines and you should be aware of the proper way to travel in cars with children in New York. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, all children under the age of 4 must ride in a child safety seat and all children under the age of 8 should ride in a child restraint system.

A child safety seat is used for your infant or toddler and usually has a five-point harness buckle system for protecting small bodies. A child restraint system is typically used for older children who are taller and weigh more, and is usually some form of booster seat that positions your child to use the car's shoulder belt.

Using and installing your car seat can seem tricky, and this may be a deterrent to some people using them properly. The manufacturer of your particular seat will specify the height and weight limits for the seat, as well as the requirements for rear and forward facing.  Car seats and child restraint systems should always be used in the back seat and should not be installed in the front seat, especially if your vehicle is equipped with passenger side air bags. Children over the age of 8 but under the age of 16 are required to use seat belts, regardless of whether they are in the front seat or back seat.

The penalty for any seat belt or car seat violation in New York is a fine of up to $50. If the violation is for a child under the age of 16, however, you can be fined up to $100 and receive three points against your driver's license.

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