Rhode Island considers rear-facing car seats for toddlers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Toddlers in Rhode Island would have to ride in rear-facing car seats under a proposal being considered by state lawmakers.

The state House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass the car seat bill Wednesday. It now moves to the Senate.

It would require car seats to face backward for all children until they’re 2 years old.

Advocates say facing children toward the back of the vehicle dramatically lowers their risk of death or serious injury during crashes.

The state already requires children under age 8 to sit in a back seat using a federally-approved child restraint system such as a booster seat. But rear-facing car seats for the youngest children are only a recommendation, not a requirement.

Several states now have rear-facing seat requirements, including Pennsylvania, California and New Jersey.