The Car Seat Law in New Mexico requires all children under the age of seven and under 60 pounds to travel in a child safety seat. Meanwhile, children aged 7 to 12 must also ride in a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits properly, according to the legislation.
According to the data provided by New Mexico’s Department of Health, one-third (35%) of the decedents in the 20 motor vehicle kid deaths in which the deceased was either the driver or passenger were wearing seat belts properly.
However, sixty-five percent (65%) were not wearing their seatbelts properly. These statistics prove that the absence of proper use of safety seats among children is the major cause of a child’s death during a vehicular crash since there is no proper harness to keep them safe.
This article will walk you through the essential facts concerning New Mexico’s Car Seat Law. It will also show you the particular standards for each safety seat, as well as the potential penalties and fines for breaking the law.
New Mexico Car Safety Seat Law
When traveling in a vehicle in New Mexico, every kid under the age of eighteen must utilize a child passenger restraint device or a seat belt. Babies and children under the age of one must ride in a rear-facing child safety device.
In New Mexico, the car seat safety requirement applies to children from birth until they are six years old and weigh at least sixty pounds. Even after that, children must wear a seatbelt and sit in the rear seat.
Children aged one to four years old or weighing less than forty pounds must travel in a child safety seat that can be positioned forward-facing. Children between the ages of five and six can utilize a booster seat. Seatbelts are required for children aged thirteen to seventeen. In addition, you should keep children in the backseat of your car for as long as possible until they are mature enough to fit the standards of sitting in the front seat.
These car seat laws exist to safeguard children of all ages, regardless of the vehicle in which their parents drive. The following is New Mexico’s most critical car seat safety laws.
Car Seat Regulations in New Mexico
In some cases, you must use a rear-facing car seat in New Mexico. A child under the age of one should be placed in one of these car seats. Infants and babies up to one year old are included.
If your child is little for his age, you may want to keep him or her in a rear-facing car seat for a longer period of time. Many parents believe that it is safer to put their child in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the age of two or three years old. Your child will surely be kept safe if you choose to do this.
There are several rear-facing car seat options available, depending on your child’s age. You may select from a variety of car seats, including:
- An infant carrier
- A baby car seat
- A convertible car seat that faces backward
In Rhode Island, any of these solutions would satisfy the basic standards for a rear-facing car safety seat.
Also, in Rhode Island, a kid under the age of one can only sit in the front seat if your car lacks a rear seat and you disable your passenger-side airbag. It is also, permitted if the car has an airbag deactivation switch and the airbag is deactivated. It is important to remember to switch off the airbag if your child is sitting in the front seat since it can cause severe injuries to your kid.
New Mexico’s guidelines for Forward-facing car seats
When can your child use a forward-facing car seat in New Mexico? In Rhode Island, your kid must be at least one year old and weigh less than forty pounds to utilize a forward-facing car seat. Normally, children between the ages of one and four ride in front-facing car seats in New Mexico.
If your child is one and still weighs less than twenty pounds, he or she can ride in a rear-facing car seat. But, in Rhode Island, this is optional. In this way, he or she will be more secure in the event of an accident.
There are various rear-facing car seats with greater weight ratings available in the market. Some of those car seats allow a child to weigh up to 35 pounds while still facing backward while driving. So it’s acceptable if you want to wait before turning your child’s seat around.
Booster seat Requirement in New Mexico
In New Mexico, there are specific restrictions governing when your child can use a booster seat. When your child reaches the age of 1, he or she can utilize a booster seat or a child safety restraint system in the back seat of the car. This law affects all children under the age of six.
When your child reaches the age of seven and weighs more than sixty pounds, he or she is no longer required to use a child safety restraint device. But, the child must still sit in the back seat of the car. Children can only sit in the front seat if other smaller children occupy the back seats or if the car lacks rear seats.
While using a booster seat, make sure that the lap belt is positioned over your child’s lap. You want to avoid putting the belt over his or her stomach. The movement of the lap belt can occur rather naturally, so double-check it before traveling to avoid any complications during your trip.
New Mexico Seat Belt Legislation
Seat Belt laws are also enforced in New Mexico. According to the law, it is the driver’s obligation to ensure that everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt. If the driver himself is discovered not wearing his or her seatbelt, he or she will be fined $25, and an additional court cost.
If a motorist just has a learner’s permit, he or she may face additional penalties, such as license advancement displays due to a seatbelt violation.
There are various exceptions to the New Mexico seat belt legislation. Some people and vehicles may be excluded from certain seat belt rules.
These regulations do not apply to postal couriers. Those who are medically unable to use a seatbelt may also be excluded. An individual must, however, carry a physician’s certification verifying the medical problem in order to avoid any conflict with any officer of the law.
Wearing Adult Safety Belts
The final group of children to be addressed is those who are now ready to wear an adult safety belt. In New Mexico, a kid who weighs more than sixty pounds and is older than six years old can sit in the rear seat and utilize a seat belt. It is advised that your child ride in the rear seat and wear a seat belt until the age of eighteen.
If your car lacks a back seat or is occupied by other smaller children, your older kid may sit in the front seat while wearing a seatbelt. It is important and safest to keep your smallest child in the rear seat of your car at all times.
Penalties for Violations of New Mexico Car Seat Laws
If you receive a child restraint violation in New Mexico, you will be fined $25 plus court fees. If this is your first offense, you will also earn two points on your driver’s license.
If you persist after the first offense, you might face a higher fine and more points on your record. This might result in increased insurance rates or the suspension of your driver’s license.
when can a child sit in the front seat in nm
In New Mexico, state law requires that children under the age of 12 must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat in the back seat of a vehicle, unless the vehicle has no back seat or the back seats are already occupied by other children under 12 years old.
However, there are exceptions to this law, and children may ride in the front seat under the following circumstances:
The child is 12 years old or older.
The vehicle has no back seat or the back seats are already occupied by other children under 12 years old.
The child is unable to sit in a back seat due to medical reasons.
The vehicle is a pickup truck and the child is seated in a properly installed and secured child restraint system.
It’s important to note that even if a child meets one of these exceptions, it is always safest for children under 13 years old to ride in the back seat of a vehicle, as the front seat airbags can cause serious injury or even death to young children in the event of a crash.
The Car Seat Laws in New Mexico are not that complicated for anyone to follow. The law states that any child under the age of eighteen in New Mexico is required to use a child passenger restraint device or a seat belt. Babies and children under the age of one must use a rear-facing child safety seat when riding in a vehicle.
Children from infancy to six years old who weigh at least sixty pounds are required to use a car seat. Even after all the aforementioned conditions, children must wear a seatbelt and ride in the back seat.
New Mexico has various car seat rules in place to safeguard children’s lives. If you reside in New Mexico and wish to drive with your children, you must follow all of the state’s car seat laws.
Car seat laws in New Mexico exist to keep your children safe and to safeguard them in the event of an accident. Make sure to remember all these guidelines when you take your next trip with your young ones to guarantee a safe trip while following the law.