To keep children safe when they are on the road in Pennsylvania, this state has created a number of laws regarding car seats. Understanding age, weight, and height restrictions for children in Pennsylvania will help parents and guardians keep children safe when on the road. Additionally, everyone driving in this state needs to understand their laws regarding seat belts so that older children and adults will be legally restrained, even if they have passed the restrictions for a traditional child safety seat.
What the Law Says
There are a few rules in the Pennsylvania car seat laws for 2020 that apply to any seating position, no matter where it is located in the vehicle. The first is that all children who are under four years old must be properly and correctly secured in a child passenger restraint system that has been federally approved. This means that children must be in a child safety seat.
Additionally, the child safety seat must be securely and correctly attached to the vehicle. The way to do this is with the seat belt system, as this will hold the seat in place and also satisfy the law.
Finally, if the child safety seat will be used in a newer vehicle that has the LATCH system, then the seat must be secured with this system, as well. This adds an extra layer of protection and prevents the seat from moving or sliding, especially in the event of an accident.
Requirements for a Booster Seat
Children who are between four and eight years old must be in a federally approved booster seat whenever they are in a vehicle. This booster seat has to be correctly and securely attached to the vehicle using the seat belt system. Additionally, all booster seats used in Pennsylvania must be used with a shoulder and lap belt to secure the child.
Children who are between 8 and 17 years old and are riding in a vehicle must be restrained with the vehicle’s seat belt. The driver is responsible for making sure that all passengers who are under 18 years old are properly restrained at all times when on the road. This means that they must not only check to ensure that everyone is properly restrained when starting the trip, but must also make sure that everyone remains properly restrained when driving.
More Information for Parents and Guardians
Any child that is under one year old and weighs less than 20 pounds should ride in a rear facing child safety seat, and this seat should be placed in the back seat. It’s recommended that parents and guardians keep their children in rear facing seats in the back of a vehicle until they reach the max weight and height limits. This will ensure that a child is as safe as possible.
Additionally, rear facing seats should never be used in the front of the car if there is an air bag. Parents and guardians must make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for installation, use, fit, and maintenance.
When in doubt about the restrictions or recommendations for a car seat, the best practice is to contact the manufacturer. They will be able to answer any questions. This is important as different manufacturers have different limits on the child safety seats or booster seats.
Information Regarding Seat Belt Laws
The driver of a vehicle, as well as all passengers in the front seat, must have on a safety belt. Regardless of where they are sitting in the car, any passenger between 8 and 17 years old must be properly restrained.
When the driver of a vehicle is under 18 years old, then there is a limit on how many passengers can be in the vehicle. The number allowed is equal to how many seat belts there are available in the vehicle.
Keeping drivers and passengers of all ages safe when on the road in Pennsylvania is the main goal of these laws. When drivers follow them and properly secure all passengers, regardless of their ages, then everyone will be safe when on the road. Any questions regarding the Pennsylvania car seat laws can be directed to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, as they have answers and are prepared to clear up any confusion so that all drivers and passengers will be properly secured.