TRENTON – The Transportation Committee released bill A1711, which increases the penalties for drivers who fail to secure a child under age 8 and weighing less than 80 pounds in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat in the back seat.
Only Assemblyman John Amodeo, (D-1), of Northfield, voted no.
State law requires children fitting that description to be restrained.
The penalty now is a fine of between $10 and $25. Bill A1711 would increase the penalty for a first offense to a fine of $100 and provides that for a first offense, the court is to waive the fine if the defendant shows that he or she is in possession of a child passenger restraint system. The fine for second and subsequent offenses would be no less than $250 nor more than $500.
In an interview, Amodeo said he found the fine to be excessive.
While he certainly supports the law that kids should be fastened to the seat, he believes when comparing the financial penalities for other traffic offenses, the proposed fine increase for the child restraint law is too high.
“Why would we have up to a $500 fine,” he said. “We’re creating a stiff fine.”