In the state of Georgia, their car seat law requires all children under the age of eight who are shorter than 57 inches in height must use a car seat or a booster seat appropriate for their age and height.
In 2019, there were 1,450 reported deaths of children involved in car accidents, according to Georgia’s child fatality annual report. A key factor in this problem is a lack of or incorrect use of car seats. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, four out of every ten children under the age of six who die or are badly injured in car accidents are either unrestrained or incorrectly restrained.
In this article, you will find all the necessary information and specific guidelines about Georgia’s Car Seat Law which will guide you in obeying the law and protecting your child at the same time.
A closer look at Georgia’s Car Seat Law Requirements
According to Georgia’s Car Seat Law, all infants stay rear-facing in the car seat. Children ages two to three must stay in the rear-facing car seat if they have not reached 20 pounds yet. Parents may choose to keep the child in a rear-facing car seat or move to forward-facing once the child reaches 20 pounds. Any children under the age of eight who are shorter than 4′ 9″ must travel in the rear seat in a car seat. This will aid in their safety.
As the kid reaches the age of four, they may begin to use a booster seat, as long as the seat belt fits properly. Georgia then enables children aged eight and above to use an adult seat belt. Even if they sit in the rear, all children under the age of 17 must wear a seat belt.
Georgia rear-facing car seats Laws
The greatest and safest seat option for your young child is a rear-facing car seat. Georgia car seat laws have specific weight and age limits for child safety seats in a vehicle. Children who are less than 20 pounds and under the age of one should sit rear-facing in the car.
All children should stay rear-facing in the car until they turn one, even if their weight is above twenty pounds. Rear-facing car seat features a harness and, in the event of a collision, cradles and moves with your child to relieve stress on the youngster’s delicate neck and spinal cord.
If your child is still under 20 pounds when they turn two, then they must remain rear-facing. All one to three-year-olds who are less than 20 pounds should remain rear-facing until they reach the upper weight limit.
Georgia forward-facing car seats Law
When a child is one year old AND weighs at least 21 pounds, they are allowed to ride in a front-facing car seat in Georgia. Parents can choose to keep the child rear-facing if their child is between 21 and 35 pounds.
It is strongly advised to postpone the transition from rear-facing to front-facing until the kid has met the weight and height restrictions established by the car seat manufacturer for rear-facing.
Georgia Booster Car Seats Law
In Georgia, a child is permitted to transition from a front-facing car seat to a booster seat when they are between the ages of 8 and 18, and weigh at least 40 pounds.
If your child is more than forty pounds and between the age of four to seven years old, then they can move to a booster seat. When the child moves to a booster seat, they must be placed in a seat with a lap and shoulder belt.
Parents may choose between a booster seat with a back on it or not. A booster seat with a back is preferable if the vehicle does not have proper headrests. It may also help position the seat belt a little better.
Time for seatbelts!
In the state of Georgia, seatbelt protocols are part of their car seat law. The law allows children older than 8 to wear an adult seat belt. The child must fit comfortably with the seat belt before transitioning out of the car seat.
A booster seat may still be utilized for little children who cannot sit comfortably with the seat belt. Parents should inspect the seat belt’s positioning to ensure that it protects the child and is comfortable. The lap belt should fit comfortably on the child’s lap rather than on the stomach. The shoulder belt should be worn across the chest and shoulders, not under the arm.
It is important to remember that it is highly recommended to keep a child in a booster seat until they can sit with their feet firmly on the ground without slouching.
Georgia Car Seat Legislation Exceptions
There are several exceptions to the aforementioned standards that are permitted under Georgia car seat legislation. Below are some examples of these exceptions.
Traveling via Busses and Taxis
When traveling via Taxi, Taxis are not obligated to provide a car safety seat for child passengers. Passengers who plan to travel in this type of transportation with their children should bring the proper child safety seat.
On the same note, buses do not need to have seat belts or child safety seats in them to transport young children. Children should be taught the proper way to sit on a bus to avoid any accidents or falls.
Children with certain medical issues, on the other hand, may not require the use of a kid safety seat. Before the parent can forego the safety seat, the medical condition must be documented and authorized by a doctor.
Georgia Uber and Taxi Car Seat Regulations
For rental cars such as Uber and Taxi, parents who intend to travel with their children in an Uber or a cab must adhere to all Georgia car seat requirements. Uber and taxi drivers are not required to provide the appropriate car seat and child restraints to customers. If you phone beforehand, some may offer this.
If you plan to use a taxi or an Uber on a trip to Georgia, you are responsible for bringing along the child seat you need. Take the time to install the car seat properly before you begin your travels.
When can a child to sit in the front seat in Georgia?
Georgia law doesn’t have specific age, height or weight requirements for sitting in the front seat of a vehicle. Children under 8 years old must use an appropriate car seat or booster seat in the back seat. Once they reach the age of 8 or the height of 4 feet 9 inches, they may use a regular seat belt in the front or back seat. It’s crucial to follow safety guidelines for children’s protection during car accidents.
Georgia car seat rules mandate all children under the age of 13 to ride in the rear seat. Kids must also utilize an appropriate car seat or adult safety belt when traveling in a vehicle.
However, there are two exceptions to this law. The first exception is if the vehicle does not have a back seat for the child to sit in. The child may sit in the front, but the child must be in the proper child safety seat with the airbags turned off.
The second exception is if the back seats are all being used by other children who are properly restrained in a car seat. If the car has three back seats and four children, the older child, even if they are younger than eight, may sit up front.
Trucks and Car Seats Laws in Georgia
For vehicles that do not have a back seat, such as pickup trucks, are exempted from Georgia car seat rules. If there are no back seats available in the car, the kid may sit in the front.
If other younger children are restrained in the back seat of the vehicle, a child younger than eight may sit in the front. This child must also use the proper car or booster seat while sitting in the front.
These regulations only apply if the vehicle does not have a rear seat or if all back seat vacancies are occupied by other minors. The rear seat is always the safest place for your youngster.
Seat Belt Legislation in Georgia
Other states do not have any specific regulations for seat belts, but in Georgia, the law requires all passengers aged 8 to 17 to use an appropriate seat belt. It makes no difference where they are in the automobile.
In addition, while the vehicle is moving, both drivers and front-seat passengers must wear a seat belt. If your child is seated in the front, ensure they are wearing their seat belt.
Failing to comply with Georgia seat belt requirements may result in a traffic ticket. Police have the authority to halt vehicles if they think a violation has occurred.
Penalties and Fines for Failure to Comply with Georgia Car Seat Regulations
According to the official website of the state of Georgia, the fines can frequently go up to $50, depending on the severity and frequency of the infractions. Violations of these car seat restrictions might result in fines and points on your driver’s license.
Apart from the fine, the driver will earn one point for each child who is not properly fastened inside the vehicle. If the driver is a repeat offender, the penalties and points for each unrestrained passenger may be doubled. In addition, failing to follow Georgia’s Car Seat Law puts your child in grave danger.
Georgia car seat legislation mandates that all children under the age of eight be properly restrained in a car seat or a booster seat. This must be based on their age and weight at each stage.
As the child passenger reaches the age of eight, they are now permitted to use an adult seat belt as long as it fits correctly. Unless the backseat is not accessible, all children under the age of 13 must sit in the rear of the car.
The implementation of Georgia’s Car seat law is made to protect children and prevent any major injuries and fractures to a kid during a crash. By obeying the law, you are not only safeguarding your child from harm, but also shielding yourself from any fines or penalties.