Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: west of civilization
Not true. MA law requires that children be in a child restraint until they are at least 8 years old, or at least 4'9". It requires that parents use the seats according to manufacturer's directions. After 8, children must be either in a child restraint or a seatbelt, and there is a primary seatbelt law for those under 18. (It's secondary for adults over 18).
The person you spoke to may be thinking of the notice sent to pediatricians last February advising them that the old 'rule' of 1 and 20 was misguided and that pediatricians should encourage their parents to keep their children rear facing to at least two years. The AAP is considering revising its official recommendation, which is that children be kept rear facing until they are at least 1 year old and 20 pounds, and thereafter as long as they fit by height and weight in their convertibles. I believe it is considering reflecting what the research shows...that all children should be rear facing to the fourth birthday.