Child safety at heart of legislative discussion in N.J.

New Jersey lawmakers are considering a big increase in the fine for failing to secure a child in a car safety seat.

New Jersey law requires that kids who are younger than eight and weigh less than 80 pounds be in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat.

The current fine for not doing that ranges from $10 to $25.

Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt is one of the sponsors of a bill that would raise the penalty to $100 for the first offense and up to $500 for additional violations.

“Under the age of 12, the single largest killer of our children are car accidents, and that statistic itself is staggering and really draws our attention to why aren’t people doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” said Lampitt.

The Assembly’s Transportation Committee has approved the measure that calls for $25 of each fine to be used to purchase child safety seats for people who can’t afford to buy them.

One member voted against the bill, worrying the proposed fines are too steep.

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