May 4, 2013
Last year's California Booster Seat Law prohibited parents, guardians, or drivers from transporting on a highway in a motor vehicle any child under 8 years old without securing that child in a child restraint which meets federal motor vehicle safety standards.
That law is now supported in 2013 by a brand new California law. The new Child Car Seat Installation, Inspection & Instruction Law helps parents and guardians make sure kids' car seats are installed safely.
State law now requires every public or private hospital, clinic, or birthing center, at the time of the discharge of a child, to provide information on the current law requiring child passenger restraint systems to the parents or the person to whom the child is released.
Assembly Bill 1452, which is now in effect, adds a requirement that parents be notified and informed about where, and at no cost, the child passenger restraint system can be inspected and proper installation instruction can be given.
Many fire stations and CHP offices are among the agencies that provide free car safety inspections.
For information on the child restraint law which has already been in effect, keep reading.
Last Year's Booster Seat Law Still In Effect
The child safety seat law, which went into effect last year, imposes stiff fines and penalties for violations, including the possibility of child endangerment charges.
The pre-2012 California Booster Seat Law had previously required a child under 6 years of age, who weighed less than 60 pounds, to be secured in a rear seat in a child restraint that met federal standards, but allowed the child to ride in the front seat if properly secured, including riding in taxis if all rear seats are already occupied by children under 12 years of age.
The newer California law, still in effect since last year, currently requires children to ride in booster seats in the back seat until their 8th birthday.
Seat belts are made for average adults and don't fit a child who is not at least 4' 9" tall. 6-7 year old kids are at risk because they might be too big for child car seats and yet too small to be protected by seat belts.
Statistics show that using a booster seat, as opposed to a seat belt, reduces a kid's risk of injury by 59 percent, thus the new booster seat law.
The California car seat law does contain a provision, however, that a child under 8 years of age who is 4'9" inches in height or taller may use a safety belt rather than a child safety seat, or booster seat.
Read the entire California Booster Seat Law (SB 929) for yourself and avoid endangering a California child --- and prevent yourself from getting busted too. The law may be more than a year old, but it is still in effect.
The following children's car seat installation video, featuring a California law enforcement officer's demonstration, is very helpful.
Child Car Seat Installation Video