NEW ORLEANS - Starting today a new law is going into effect-- one that could save a child's life.
"It's crushing when you see a child life that's taken or serious injury in a crash. State Trooper, Monroe Dillon III, told WGNO. Not just injury to where a person's neck or back is hurt. We're talking about lose and use of limb.
Since 2018, 115 children have been seriously hurt or killed because they weren't properly secured in the car. That's why-- starting today-- Louisiana.. changed the child passenger requirements. Before, a child had to be at least six years old or weigh 60 pounds to ride without a seat.
"Now, they'll have to be at least 9 years old and pass a series of tests."
Tests like: feet flat on the floor, knees must rest comfortably at the bend of the seat, the seat belt must go over the waist and chest, and the child still must weight 60 pounds or more.
Also, children must be at least 13 to ride in the front seat.
"Once they reach these requirements then they're able to ride in the seat belt" Trooper Dillon said.
If you're caught driving a child who's not properly secured, you'll have to pay the price.
According to Troop B, the first penalty is one hundred dollars. After that, it'll be two-hundred and fifty dollars. The third will go up to fife-hundred dollars.
To avoid these hefty fines, it’s pretty simple: follow the new guidelines.
"Keep them in there the longest time possible to protect their bones so they can develop. Not just because it says, hey, we can move them from the rear seat to the front."
Children ages 2-4 must ride with the car seat facing forward and 4-9 have to ride in a booster seat.