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Child Passenger Safety Law

Law

Every Child under 8 years old must ride in a booster seat or other appropriate child safety seat*.  Unless the child is 4 feet, 9 inches or taller, or weighs more than 65 pounds.
 
Every child from 8 to 16 years old who is no secured in a car seat must be secured in the vehicle's seat belt.
 

Protect your child as they ride!

The back seat is the safest part of the car for all passengers. Recent research shows that children should ride in the back seat until they reach age 15.
(Information courtesy of the Maryland Departement of Health and Mental Hygiene)
 

Boosters Are For Big Kids

Most kids need to ride in a booster seat from about age 4 until at least age 8-10.
If your child isn't using a booster, try the simple test below the next time you ride together in the car. You'll probably find that you child is not yet ready to use a safety belt without a booster.
 
The 5 Step-Test
  1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
  2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at he edge of hte auto seat?
  3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
  4. Is the lap belt cross as low as possible, touching the thighs?
  5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to make both the shoulder belt and the lap belt fit right for the best crash protection. Your child will be more comfortable, too!
 
* "Child safety seat" includes infant seats, convertable seats, forward-facing seats, booster seats, or other federally approved safety devices.