By Mark Abrams

by Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHA (CBS) — A new law requiring parents of newborns and toddlers to place their children in rear-facing car seats is now in effect in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is the fourth state in the nation to enact the requirement for transporting infants and toddlers in rear-facing car seats.

AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Jana Tidwell says the American Academy of Pediatrics was among those who lobbied lawmakers for the change in the commonwealth which went into effect on Friday.

“Rear-facing car seat position protects the head, the neck, the spine of an infant or toddler, and it actually distributes the impact of any crash over the whole body of the child,” said Tidwell.

She says the research is clear: rear-facing car seats can save lives.

“Children between the ages of 12 months and 24 months are five times more likely to sustain serious injuries and, unfortunately, fatalities if they turn over forward facing too soon,” said Tidwell.

She says police will give a verbal warning to drivers who fail to comply with the regulation during the first year of enforcement.

Beginning next August, violators face a fine of $125.