Buckle Up Baby: Are You In Compliance With Texas Car Seat Laws?
One of the most important passengers you'll ever carry is a child. You have to be careful as the laws are always changing. Are you using the right kind of seat? How old does the child have to be before a child's seat is no longer needed? It's important to cover off on all questions to ensure your child is safe and you're following the law.
Let's take a look at some frequent questions and the answers according to the DPS.
What is the Texas law for child passenger safety?
The DPS claims that when a child reaches their 8th birthday, no matter their height, it is legal for the child to use the passenger belt in a vehicle. You can read the law in its full context here.
What are the recommended four stages of child passenger safety?
1. Rear-Facing Seat: Infants stay rear-facing as long as possible – to the upper weight
limits of the harness – but never forward-facing before their first birthday and 20-22
2. Forward-Facing Seat: Toddlers go forward-facing in a five-point harness until the
upper limits of the harness, usually 40-65 pounds.
3. Booster Seat: Children from about age four up to 4’9” tall.
4. Adult Safety Belt: From 4’9” and taller.
Where do I go to have my car/booster seat checked, and get assistance in learning how to use it?
A national list of certified child passenger safety technicians is found at:
Is it legal for children to ride in the front seat in Texas?
The law doesn't specify where in a vehicle a child must ride, however, it does require that all safety seat systems be used according to owner's manuals.
If you have any additional questions, the Texas Department of Public Safety has a full document with complete answers.
Another cool resource to check out is the TXDoT "Save Me With a Seat" Campaign which offers car seat installation guidance and car seat checks online. Reach out to a TXDoT Traffic Safety Specialist in your area.
I think you'll agree, car seats are a great invention compared to days gone by. Although they weren't invented in Texas, a bunch of awesome things was, just look below.