Do you know what the Arizona car seat laws are? If you live or plan to travel to Arizona with your baby, these laws will keep you up to date so that you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.
Car seat laws vary from state to state, but all 50 states have one thing in common: they require a restraining device for all young children so that they can be safe while riding in your car. In the state of Arizona, some of these laws were updated in 2012 and, therefore, have changed, so it is good to know what the law is before you get behind the wheel of a car with a youngster in the back seat.
Laws for Rear-Facing Car Seats
Babies have to be in a rear-facing car seat as long as they are under one year old and they weigh less than 20 lbs. If they are at least one year old and they weigh 20 lbs. or more, you can place them in a car seat facing the front of the vehicle in an upright position. Until then, however, babies have to be in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat any time they are riding in a car.
Infant car seats are made for babies under one year of age and up to roughly 22 lbs., as well as those that are up to 29 inches tall. Never use household infant carriers, especially the cloth-type carriers, as a car seat for an infant.
If you’re curious about the limits, think of it this way: babies always have to face the rear of the vehicle, and they must be in a car seat that is specifically designed for this purpose and this age group. Rear-facing car seats help protect a baby’s back and shoulders in the event of a crash, which is why these types of car seats are so important.
Laws for Front Seats
Once a baby reaches one year of age or 20 lbs., whichever comes first, you can place him/her in a front-facing car seat. Remember that it has to be a car seat that is specifically made for this age group and all buckles must be securely tightened. The manufacturer of the car seat will inform you of the proper way to install the seat and to buckle the child in, and it is always recommended that you follow all directions to a tee.
Car seats made specifically for toddlers are usually called convertible seats, and they are made for children weighing up to 40 lbs. or who measure up to 40 inches in height. Convertible seats start out as rear-facing seats for very small babies, but you can turn them around to face forward once your child reaches 20 lbs. or one year of age. You may have to make some adjustments to use them this way, but they are simple and minor adjustments to make.
Laws for Booster Seats
At one point, the laws in Arizona only covered children up to age five, requiring only these children to be in the proper restraints, but that has changed. Children ages five to seven years of age and 4’9” or shorter must now be in a booster seat, and a proper one at that. Starting at five years of age, or until they reach 4’9”, the child has to be in either a backless, or belt-positioning booster seat or a high-back booster seat for every ride in a vehicle.
Height and Weight Requirements
In Arizona, all children weighing less than 40 lbs. and under 40 inches tall have to be in some type of car seat. It is broken down like this:
- Under one year of age or under 20 lbs.: a rear-facing car seat is required
- Ages one to five, at least 20 lbs., and less than 4’9”: a front-facing car seat is required
- Ages five to seven and up to 4’9”: a booster car seat is required
- Age eight and older, regardless of height: child should always be wearing seat belts
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that the car seat you choose meets all state and national standards, which means buying one that is new is always your best bet. Older car seats that were made before some of these newer laws were put into effect may not have all of the requirements you need to keep your children safe. Furthermore, if you have any questions about car seats and laws that are specific to the state of Arizona, you can visit websites such as https://www.tripsavvy.com/car-booster-seat-law-in-arizona-2682493 to get the additional information you need.
Laws for Seat Belts
After a child turns eight years old, he/she is no longer required to be in a child-restraint system; however, the seatbelt laws still apply and, therefore, wearing a seatbelt while riding in a vehicle is always a must if you are eight years old or older. If your child is still 4’9” or shorter, however, it is a smart idea to use a child-restraint system due to this being a smaller size, be it a standard car seat or booster seat.
Some Other Considerations
Arizona law also makes some exceptions to its seatbelt laws, with some vehicles not required to place children in child-restraint systems. This is limited, however, to vehicles such as school buses, public transportation systems, recreational vehicles, or any vehicle transporting a child to a hospital in an emergency situation. Other than these situations, your child always has to be in some type of car or booster seat.
In addition, although Arizona law doesn’t specifically prevent it, you should never put a child in the front seat of the vehicle, especially if it has an airbag. Most safety organizations recommend that all children under the age of 12 be kept in the back seat of the vehicle at all times, even if they are more than eight years old and over 4’9” tall.
If the situation occurs where you must place a child in the front seat – such as riding in a two-seat vehicle – you should always disable the airbag system so that the child isn’t injured or killed should you get into an accident and the airbag deploys. Keeping your child safe while riding in a vehicle is crucial, and with a little help from the authorities, you can quickly learn just what to do to accomplish that.