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House bill requires kids under 2 in rear-facing car seats

April 9, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire House on Friday passed a bill that would require children under age 2 to be restrained in a rear-facing car seat in a vehicle.

The House Transportation Committee, which recommended approval of the bill, had said it would help “close an identified gap in child passenger safety law in New Hampshire.” The bill has the support of New Hampshire chiefs of police, Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and a number of other highway and safety organizations.

The vote was 198-176 for the bill.

Opponents said that the state already has sufficient laws regarding restraint systems for children in vehicles. They said parents should be able to choose appropriate child restraint systems for their children.

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Opponents also expressed concern about some children not being able to fit in the seats, or that some children can get sick in rear-facing seats. Others said it’s difficult for all family members to fit in a vehicle that has one of the seats.

The bill also requires child restraint systems overall for children less than 7.

The measure now goes to the Senate.