Georgia’s Child Restraint Laws

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A car’s seatbelts and airbags are designed to protect adults, not children, during an accident. Improperly restrained kids risk ejection from the vehicle and serious injuries from airbag deployment.

The Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection reports that traffic crashes are the leading cause of injuries and deaths to children between one and 12 years old in Georgia. Proper use of an appropriate child restraint system can reduce the numbers of kids hurt and killed in auto accidents.

Georgia statutes reflect the research about protecting children in case of an accident. Consider the key provisions of the law:

  • Children younger than eight years old and less than 57 inches tall must be secured in a booster or car seat in the backseat of the vehicle.
  • The booster or car seat must be suitable for the child’s weight and height and meet U.S. federal regulations.
  • A child who weighs at least 40 pounds may ride in an appropriate booster or car seat in the front seat of the automobile if the vehicle does not have a backseat or if other children already occupy all the rear seats.
  • Failure to restrain a child properly is a primary offense, meaning that an officer can ticket for noncompliance even if no other traffic laws have been violated.
  • First-time child restraint violations can result in up to $50 in fines per child and one point on a driving record, and second offenses can cost up to $100 per child and two points.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers the following guidelines for purchasing a child restraint system:

  • Newborn to one year old — Rear-facing infant seat
  • Under one year old, but more than 20 pounds — Rear-facing, specially designed infant seat for larger babies
  • One to three years old and 20 to 40 pounds — Forward-facing toddler seat
  • Four years to eight years old, 40 to 80 pounds and under 57 inches — Booster seat
  • Eight to 13 years old and taller than 57 inches — Seatbelt in backseat

The proper restraint system can save a child’s life in the event of an auto accident.

 

 

Topics:  Car Accident, Safety Precautions

Published In: Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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