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Revised car seat rule targeting toddlers to start Sept. 1
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Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) A regulation that will require parents to put children up to two years of age in a rear-facing safety seat will begin on Sept. 1 if all goes according to plan, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said Friday.

The regulation was revised on Dec. 2, 2019 to apply to young children up to two years old, from up to one year old previously, said Lee Chao-hsien, a specialist of the ministry's Department of Railways and Highways.

Increasing the age standard was aimed at improving safety for young children, as pediatric cervical spine development remains incomplete before age two, Lee said, citing studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The sudden impact of a car accident can often cause whiplash, meaning that the neck is overextended or pushed suddenly in an awkward position, and rear-facing safety seats provide better protection than front-facing ones against such injuries, he said.

That's why the ministry also encourages young children between two and four years old who weighed under 18 kilograms to use rear-facing safety seats.

Lee said the ministry's plan is for the updated measure to take effect on Sept. 1, but that will depend on whether the Ministry of Economic Affairs can complete tests on applicable rear-facing safety seats in time.

Once the revised regulation takes effect, violators will be subject to a fine of NT$1,500-3,000 (US$50-100), he said.

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