New child passenger safety laws go into effect in Louisiana August 1st, when kids under 13 must ride in the back seat and more child safety seat and restraint laws will be enforced.

Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director Lisa Freeman gave a rundown of the new restraint laws.

“Any child who is under the age of two must ride in a rear facing child seat and will ride in such a child seat until they reach the height and weight limits of that seat.”

At which point they must transition to a forward-facing seat with an internal harness. Once they turn four, and outgrow the forward-facing seat, they must transition to a booster seat. When the child turns 9 or outgrows the booster seat, they can sit in the back seat, with proper seatbelt restraint.

Freeman says previously the codified laws for child safety in cars were not nearly as specific, and the new suite of requirements will make Louisiana the envy of child safety advocates across the nation.

“This is best practices and we have been told by experts in the field that we now have, in Louisiana, the best child passenger restraint law in the country.”

Freeman says the policy may not go into effect for another month, but she recommends new parents check out the requirements online and start practicing them now, like the best parents already do.

“Very prudent parents defaulted, I think, to keeping children in the back seat, but there was not codified, mandatory piece of legislation requiring that.”

Visit Louisianahighwaysafety.org for a rundown on the new laws.