Iowa Car Seat Laws: Updated

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Iowa Car Seats law states that All children 12 and under must use a vehicle seat or a seat belt in the backseat to ensure their safety, which is one of its unchanging laws. If they so want, passengers above the age of 18 may sit in the back without using a seat belt. 

According to research made by Forbes, a total of 5,250,837 collisions happened over the course of a single year in 2020, and 30% of these resulted in injuries.

This is an alarming number, and the reason why all children age 12 and under must use a vehicle seat or a seat belt in the backseat to ensure their safety. Parents  or guardians abiding by the Idaho Car Seat Laws not only set a good example for others, but also ensure the safety of every passenger inside the vehicle.

Iowa’s rules regarding car seats and seat belts have undergone considerable revisions. This has added a bit of confusion so let’s take some time to explore these to keep each other safe!

Iowa Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws

According to the law, children who weigh under 30 pounds and are under the age of three should be in a rear-facing car seat. This helps keep them safe in case of an accident. 

Iowa Front Facing Car Seat Laws

Children aged one to six need to be secured in a child-restraint system. In contrast to older children who can be placed on a booster seat, younger ones need to be kept an eye on more and make sure they are secured in order to avoid potential risks. Seat belt alone is not gonna cut, so why take the risk? 

Younger children must use a forward-facing car seat with a five-point harness. It is recommended that parents continue to use this until their child meets the maximum age and weight requirements on the car seat

In 2019, new regulations were put in place, requiring all children under 18 years old to either be in a car seat or use a seat belt when traveling inside a vehicle. It should be noted that children under six years old need to be secured in a car seat or booster seat.

The parent has the choice when to move the child from a car seat to a booster seat, which usually happens around the age of four.

Unless the vehicle is equipped with suitable headrests, a booster seat must include a backrest. The addition of a backrest also helps to optimize the position of the seat belt for the child. As children grow older, they may move on to a backless booster seat. However, it is important to consider where the belt can be properly fastened before making this decision.

What are the Iowa Car Seat Laws for the Front Seat?

This part of the law states that a child is safest when they are occupying the back seat until they turn 13. Despite that, there are some exceptions to this rule. If the vehicle does not have a backseat, then the alternative would be for the child to sit in the front before they turn 13.

how old do you have to be to sit in the front seat in iowa

According to the Iowa Car Seat laws, children are allowed to sit in the front seat of the vehicle upon reaching the age of 13. Prior to this age, it is recommended that they ride in the back seat. However, parents may keep their children in the back seat even if the child has reached beyond the age recommended by the law. It is important that children do not move on to the front seat before they reach the age of 13.

If there is no back-seat in the car, the child may then sit in the front. If all the back seats are taken by the younger children, then the oldest may sit in the front before the age of 13, and they must still wear a seat belt for the duration.

Can You Place a Car Seat in the Front Seat in Iowa?

Iowa car seat law allows a car seat to be placed in the front seat of a vehicle. This should only be done when no back seat is present. 

If the parent or guardian finds themselves needing to transport a child in a truck with no back seat, or the back seat is not large enough for the base of the car seat, then the car seat may be in front. Also it is important to remember not to put a rear-facing car seat near an active airbag to avoid any complication.

Iowa Car Seat Laws for Taxis and Uber

Uber, Lyft, and taxi drivers will not be fined for any violations with child restraints according to the Iowa Car Seat Law. The parent or the guardian, however, will be ticketed if the car is pulled over.

The parent or the guardian is the one responsible for bringing along a proper car or booster seat if they plan to travel with a child. Once the child is old enough to no longer need these, it is time to move on to a seat belt, however, make sure they wear these properly.

Iowa Car Seat Belt Laws

Iowa’s Car Seat Laws have not changed much over the years, even with the recent modifications, it still retains its core laws, which entail that all children under the age of 18 must be properly restrained. This can be done with a car seat, booster seat, or a seat belt. If the passenger is required to wear a standard seat belt, it must have a shoulder and a lap belt. A simple lap belt will be enough to cover this requirement.

The seat belt must also be used properly. This means that the lap belt should not fit across the stomach, as it belongs across the lap. The shoulder must fit over the area of the shoulder and not under the arm. If the child struggles with wearing the belt properly, the parent or guardian must use their best judgment and consider putting them in a booster seat again.

If the child is older than 18 and rides in the back seat of the vehicle, then a seat belt is not necessary. However, it is still recommended to make sure maximum safety is in place. All drivers are a different story because they are required by the Idaho Car Seat Laws to wear a seat belt at all times while the vehicle is in motion. The seat belt laws apply to everyone inside the vehicle, regardless of whether they are citizens of Iowa or not.

Penalties for Violating Iowa Car Seat Laws

Anyone who violates any of the rules in the Idaho Car Seat Laws can get into trouble and will be charged with a simple misdemeanor. According to code section 805.8A, subsection 14 paragraph c, they would receive a $100 fine.

Any driver who violates this section while transporting a child 14 years of age or younger will receive a citation for a violation of the section. However, if the passenger is 14 years or older and violates these laws, they can receive the citation instead of the driver.

In the case when a child 14 years old or younger has a disability that prevents them from being able to fasten their safety belt, and they are riding in a taxicab or personal vehicle being operated by a transportation company, the parent or legal guardian can receive a citation for a violation of this section. However, if the child is 14 years old or older, the acting law enforcement officer can serve them the citation.

A person who has received a citation for a violation of this section and hasn’t purchased a car seat won’t receive a conviction if they produce evidence in court that they have purchased or received one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if a baby weighs over 20 pounds but they haven’t turned one year old yet?

 

Choose a seat that you can use rear-facing for children weighing over 20 pounds and keep them rear-facing as long as you can. The important thing is that you’re following Iowa’s laws.

 

The parent may choose a seat that is rear-facing for children weighing over 20 pounds and keep them in that state as long as they can. The important thing is that they are following the Iowa Car Seat Laws.

At What Age Can A Child Stop Using Booster seat?

The requirements for a child to be finished using a booster seat in Iowa aren’t age-related. They’re finished when their legs are long enough for them to sit back in the vehicle seat with their knees bent over the edge and their feet reach the floor.

The requirements for a child to move on from using a booster seat in Iowa have nothing to do with age. They can move on when their legs are long enough for them to sit back in the vehicle seat with their knees bent over the edge and their feet touching the floor.

When they’re buckled in the seat belt, the shoulder belt should cross over their collarbone, and the lap belt should cross over their hip bones and upper thighs.

Conclusion

Just like other states, Iowa has car seat laws to ensure the safety of not only the child but also the parent or guardian that is driving the car. Following these laws is not only important in order to prevent penalties and fees, but also to safeguard against potential injuries when it comes to an accident.

Alea’s safety tips mention that all car occupants be buckled up, and children be in a child restraint system, to provide maximum security in the event of a crash. It is also important to note that the driver should be responsible and avoid behaviors like driving under the influence and maintaining a safe distance from other cars while on the road.

Always be sure to check the car seats and if it follows the safety guidelines and rules when on the road. Any time you drive in Iowa, or if you are a local, make sure to follow the car seat laws.

 

Avatar of Keren Simanova

Keren Simanova

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren

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Keren Simanova

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren