The Arizona car seat law, also called Arizona booster law, was enacted in 2012. The law was updated recently. The change to the law increases the permitted age from 5 years old to 8 years old to ride using solely a seat belt.
The booster seat provision added in the law closes the loophole to protect children until they are big enough for the safety belt to adequately protect them in case of a crash.
This post will review Arizona’s front-facing car seat laws, rear-facing laws, booster laws as well as the potential fines imposed for noncompliance.
Which Laws Apply To Your Child?
In Arizona, a rear facing car seat must be used if the child is under 1 year of age. A front-facing car seat is used for children over 1 years old. A booster seat is needed until the child is taller than 4 feet 9 inches and over 80 pounds.
After these metrics are met, they are then able to sit using only the seat belt. The same procedures are in place when riding in a taxi. Arizona does not have a law that states what age a child is legally allowed to ride in the front seat, but the recommended age by most car manufacturers is 13 years of age.
Rear-Facing Car Seats: Laws
In Arizona, for children under a year old, it is required for the child to be in a rear-facing car seat. The car seat must support the entire body of the child including the head and neck regions.
It is imperative that restraints are used that move with the child. This will prevent the support the car seat provides from being lost during an accident. You must keep the legal maximum of 20 pounds in mine when buying a car seat for your baby. This is the maximum weight for a rear-facing car seat.
Arizona’s Forward – Facing Car Seat Laws
In Arizona, it is required for children over a year old who have not learned to walk to be in a forward-facing car seat when riding in the car. It is important to keep in mind that different car seats have different maximum weight limits. You must make sure that the weight limit you choose for the seat is correct before purchasing and installation of the seat.
Important Note for Forward-Facing Car Seats
Forward-facing car seats and rear-facing car seats are designed to face the child in only one direction. You must verify which position the car seat you are purchasing is meant for the weight and age of your child before driving.
Some seats may be for both directions, but this depends on the child’s age. It is imperative to verify which direction your car seat is for, and make sure your child is meeting the safety requirements for rear-facing and forward-facing car seats.
Arizona Booster Laws
Arizona legislation states that a booster seat, or car seat is necessary for a child if they are:
- Younger than 8 years old, or
- Shorter than 4 feet, 9 inches (57 inches) tall.
It is necessary for a child to ride in a child safety seat if they are younger than 5 years old. Car seats must be securely fastened with seat belts and have harnesses that hold the child in the hard-plastic, cushioned shell portion of the car seat.
The positioning of Booster Seat
A booster seat will help protect a child during a car crash when it is used properly. To properly place a child in a booster seat:
- Have the child sit with their back against the vehicle seat, with knees bent over the edge of the seat.
- Has to have the lap belt tightly across the bony areas, not the soft abdomen of the lower hips and upper thighs.
- Have the shoulder belt securely tightened against the collarbone and chest.
Booster Seat Requirements
A child must sit in a booster after they are 4 years old until they are over 4 feet 9 inches, and over 80 pounds. A booster seat will help your child sit in the proper restraining position for their body by ensuring the seatbelt lies in proper location.
The age range for booster seats is over the age of 5 years old and under the age of 8 years old.
Booster seats may have a back or only a base depending if your car has head restraints or not. You must check that the lap and shoulder belts are resting in their proper location with the child sitting in the booster seat and make sure the seat is properly adjusted.
Once a child is over 4 feet 9 inches and over 80 pounds, they may sit with a regular seat and lap belt. You may only receive a fine then if the child is not wearing a belt while the vehicle is in motion.
Fines for Violations
If you violate Arizona child car safety seat regulations while a child is in the car, you can be fined $50. The fine can be waived if the car owner or driver can verify after the ticket has been given that they have obtained a child safety seat or booster seat.
It is enough to simply mail the receipt to the court to show compliance have waive the fine.
Replacing a Car Seat After an Accident
Arizona does not have specific laws on replacing a car seat after an accident but is strongly recommended to replace the seat. Car seats have an average lifespan of 6 years, so you are recommended to replace the car seat 6 years after purchase.
Correct Positioning Of A Car Seat is A must
A child must be properly fastened and secured in a car safety seat. The child must:
- Have their head no closer than 1 inch from the crest of the seat’s plastic shell.
- The clip in the middle of their chest and level with their armpits where the harness is fastened.
- Have the straps snug and lying flat at their or above their shoulders.
Arizona Car Seat Laws For Taxi /Uber
If you plan on using a taxi to get around in Arizona, you must plan to bring along your car safety seat or booster seat. Taxis are not exempt from car seat laws in Arizona. This means your child must use the follow the same guidelines and laws for car seats in a taxi as they do in your own car.
Arizona car seat laws and regulations are determined by the age, weight, and height of the child. Different types of car seats are required based on these factors. It is vital that you understand where and how your child should be sitting in the car for maximizing their safety.
Arizona does not specify when a child is able to legally sit in the front seat. However, they must be properly restrained. It is recommended to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s warnings in your vehicle that state children under the age of 13 years old should not be sitting in the front seat.