Child Safety Seat Laws

Child safety seat laws are very important in providing protection to child passengers. Vehicle crashes are considered the primary killers of children aged 1 to 12 years old in the United States and the strict enforcement of child safety seat laws could very well change this fact in a positive way. The child safety seat laws see to it that you put your child in the right seat at the right time and the right way.

A Child Restraint System or Anton’s Law of 2005 authorized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make rules and regulations on safety regarding the use of child restraint. The NHTSA was directed to focus on making restrictions and guidelines in the use of booster seats and restraints for children who weigh more than 50 pounds as well as restraints for children weighing up to 65 pounds and also those weighing up to 80 pounds. The booster seats and restraints were also required to pass performance criteria when tested using a collision test dummy, a representation of a 10-year old child.

Safety seat requirement

Requirements for child passenger restraints are made to vary based on the age, height and weight of the child. The requirements are classified in three stages:

  • Infant use rear facing infant seats
  • Toddler use forward facing child safety seats
  • Older children use booster seats

States laws on child safety

A large number of child passenger safety laws require all children to use the rear seat whenever possible while most states allow children over a particular age, weight or height to use a safety belt for adults.

Each state in America has its own passenger safety law. Consequently, violators are required to pay first offense fines when not complying with the state law on child passenger safety. The fines vary from 10 dollars to 500 dollars. Sanctions using the driver’s license are also practiced as an additional penalty for offenders.

All the 50 states of America including Guam, District of Columbia, Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands require compliance to child safety seats either for an infant or children with certain state criteria.

The District of Columbia and the 48 states of America except Florida and South Dakota require the use of booster seats and other pertinent devices for children who have outgrown their safety seats but still are not fit to use the adult seat belts safely.

Five American states which include New Jersey, New York, Florida, California and Louisiana require seat belts to be installed in school buses.