Just like there are seatbelt laws for adults, there are those existing for children. Child restraint laws are quite important. This year, 1 in every 5 adults is going to die in a car crash. Kids under the age of 5 have a higher chance of dying in a car crash than in any other scenario. Child restraint seatbelt laws are a very critical reminder that we should always keep our children safe in the vehicle.
All children MUST be carefully fastened in a correct car seat suited for their age and size. Children that are properly secured in their chosen seat are less likely to be killed in a car accident than those who are not.
-Children from 6 months to 4 years should have a forward facing car seat
-Children 4 years old and over need a booster seat or a forward facing seat.
-Children 1m and taller are now ready to use an adult lap sash safety belt.
If your child is small for a particular restraint, they must remain in their current restraint until it’s safe for them to advance a level higher. If they’re large enough just move them to the next seat.
Child restraint laws
-6 months old children MUST be secured in an approved seat facing forward
-Children over 6 months (but not over 4 years) old must be carefully secured in one of two seating options: rear or forward facing child restraint that’s approved with its own inbuilt harness
- Children less than 4 years old are NOT to travel in the front seat of a vehicle under whichever circumstance
-Children over 4, but under 7 years old MUST be carefully secured in an approved child restraint facing forward with its own inbuilt harness or booster seat
- Children who are over 4, but not yet 7 are NOT allowed to travel in the front seat unless all seats at the back are already occupied by kids under 7 years in their own approved child restraints or booster seats
-Children older than 7, but younger than 16 who are too small to use a seatbelt are advised to use an approved booster seat instead
-Kids using booster seats MUST be properly buy maxalt online uk restrained by an appropriate lap and sash seatbelt, or by an appropriate child safety harness.
In the US, young children are usually protected by child restraint laws, while seatbelt laws cover adults and older children. The laws differ among states. Enforcement and fines across the US vary under seatbelt use and child safety laws, therefore it’s essential to know which particular law is under violation when a child is not restrained.
Most seat safety laws for children are primary laws this means members of law enforcement can stop vehicles mainly for the violation of child safety seat laws. States like Nebraska and Ohio leave some kids secondary enforcement laws- meaning that police officers MUST have another reason (other than violation of child restraint laws) to make a driver stop. The law I Nebraska is secondary for those children in safety belts and primary for those in child safety seats. Ohio’s is secondary for children over 4 but under 14 years.
All infants and children should be covered by seat belt laws or child restraint laws that are enforceable. As mentioned earlier, the laws differ in various states because they are worded differently which results in many occupants, mostly children, being covered by neither primary nor secondary laws. Lawmakers can only do so much. In the past they have tried to eliminate most of the gaps existing by adjusting their child restraint laws and seatbelt laws, but still 15-year-olds in rear seats in Arkansas, Alabama and Ohio, 7+ year old children in Mississippi, and 9 year old children riding in rear seats not taller than 4 feet in Oklahoma are not covered by neither of the two laws. All children under 16 years of age in the District of Columbia and other 45 states are covered by either or both of these child restraint laws.
There are different penalties and fines imposed across the states in the US. Other places such as Australia and New Zealand also have their own fines and penalties in place.
Child restraint laws are put in place to protect our children’s lives. What do you value most- your child’s safety or getting somewhere fast? It is up to every driver to ensure they pay attention to this at all times.